There’s a couple interesting tidbit in this interview with an AMD exec:
Q. What can you tell us in terms of what AMD plans to develop, or at least can you tell us what you think the “hot” technologies are in the future?
A. Well, “hot” is an interesting choice of words, because one of the issues we are focusing on is power efficiency. . . . [T]here will be even more focus on power efficiency in the desktop and the server space. . . . [T]here’s kind of an interesting rule of thumb here: if you look at a PC or a server in an enterprise, for every one watt of power that that device consumes, there’s typically three watts of power going into the building. Those three watts break down to one watt through the device, probably 200 milliwatts, for power distribution and electrical power supply, and all the remaining power – almost two watts – is associated with cooling.
So the point is that there is around a three-to-one lever in terms of energy savings at the company level, so for every watt you can take out at the desktop or the datacenter, their power meter goes down by three watts. So that’s a very good way to deal with power issues; it’s also ecologically responsible and something that we’ve been supporting.
Intel’s been singing this song for a while, and while AMD certainly has said things along the same lines, they usually haven’t been quite as explicit about it.
No criticism of AMD meant by that, but if you had any remaining doubts that the Era of Speed was over, well, when the “hot” technology at AMD is power conservation, that ought to tell you something.
A bit later on in the article, we see this:
In terms of other key technologies, we also believe that as digital media becomes even more pervasive, that things like privacy, security, and Digital Rights Management will be very important.
Hmmmm, privacy and DRM! With all due respect, in the minds of many, these are mutually exclusive terms, like promising wet and dry.
I point this out merely because there’s a school of wishful thinking out there which believes that Intel is the DRM supporter and AMD isn’t.
AMD is just as committed as Intel to DRM initiatives (though neither is horribly thrilled by it); they’ve just been quieter about it. Nonetheless, the infrastructure will be in place on both sides of the CPU arena when Vista comes out, and hardware-based DRM becomes a reality.