Happy 40th Birthday AMD!


AMD is celebrating 40 years from starting the company a long, long time ago: May 1st 1969 was the date when the rogue group of ex-engineers and sales guys from Fairchild Semiconductor: Jerry Sanders III, Ed Turney, John Carey, Svanden Simonsen and few others founded Advanced Micro Devices or what is today popularly called AMD.

The urban legend about the first sale of its product [memory chips] – well known to industry insiders. It was explained to us by one of its founders that AMD signed its first customers when Jerry called in a favor and got a boat, loaded it with playmates, champagne and other stimulants and long story short – several customers came onboard even though AMD was yet to manufacture a product. Don’t shoot the messenger, but if you’re a member of AMD and claim that the company started when IBM needed a second source for x86 CPUs, we have to remind you to get out of your conservative box and face the music. AMD was a product of summer of love and that’s that.

The company started with the production of RAM chips in 1975, followed with the introduction of the reverse engineered version of Intel’s 8080 processors. Then, IBM demanded a second source for x86 processors and in 1982, AMD signed an agreement with Intel for licensing the x86 architecture. The rest is history.

We mark two great things in the history of AMD: the switch of Dirk Meyer and its Alpha engineering team and the creation of the K7 architecture and the infamous take-over of ATI – the Canadian manufacturer of graphic chips in 2006. The last exciting chapter was the separation of AMD in to two companies, one being in the business of product engineering and designing computing products and other in the manufacturer of chips [GlobalFoundries]. AMD today is producing a complete platform from chips and processors to graphic cards.

We’ll see how AMD will develop in the future, but one thing is certain – it is never boring with a company founded on sex and rock’n’roll… no wonder the company has two CEOs: a brilliant, but "boring" engineer Dirk Meyer and a creative spirit in the form of Chief Emotional Officer, Mr. Charlie "Hollywood" Boswell. 🙂