Advanced Micro Devices, or AMD for short, adopted an arrow logo when the company was founded in 1969, and the company has used pretty much the same logo since then.
The original AMD logo featured two arrowheads, a large one and a small one. The arrowheads can also be considered a pair of right angles facing opposite directions.
The AMD logo arrow symbol is placed after the company’s nameplate and points upwards to the right, representing the firm’s movement and progress.
Evolution of the AMD Logo
The AMD logo hasn’t evolved much since it was designed in 1969. In general, the logo consists of two basic versions.
Advanced Micro Devices has maintained a fairly consistent visual identity. After the company was formed, it adopted a symbol that comprised two arrows; one large and the other small.
The large and small arrows are rectangular, but the smaller one is sharper than the large one. The arrows represent movement, progress, and development, whichever direction they point to. Due to their design, they create something that looks like a lowercase “a.”
For ten years, AMD had a slightly different logo version. In this era, the arrows were white, featuring a bold black outline. In addition, the arrows appeared slighter and bolder than in the previous version.
The AMD logo of this era consists of the AMD wordmark written in uppercase letters and the two arrowheads symbol. The arrowheads are placed to the right of the wordmark.
The AMD wordmark uses a strict, clean typeface with perfect geometric lines, and it also uses balanced letters that look assertive and masculine.
The AMD Logo Design Elements
Color: The AMD logo consists of two elements: text and a graphic. The basic version features two arrowheads created by polygons and the acronym “AMD” in all-black. There’s also a less used version of the AMD logo, featuring jungle green geometric shapes.
Font: The AMD wordmark uses uppercase letters only. The letters are written in a strict manner, minus serifs. While letters “M” and “A” are straight, the letter “D” is rendered in a smooth, streamlined shape.
The arrowhead symbol represents customers’ total trust in AMD products, in addition to its high functionality and seriousness. It also represents practicality and purposefulness and gives customers a feeling of security.
The History of AMD
AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) is a US multinational semiconductor firm that designs computer processors and associated technologies for personal and business use. While the company at first made its own processors, it eventually outsourced that job to its spin-off GlobalFoundries in 2009.
The main products developed by AMD include microprocessors, embedded processors, graphics processors, motherboard chipsets, and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for personal computers, workstations, and embedded systems applications, and servers.
In May 1969, Jerry Sanders teamed up with his seven ex-colleagues at Fairchild Semiconductor to formally incorporate Advanced Micro Devices. An electrical engineer, Sanders was Fairchild’s marketing director. He and many of ex-Fairchild executives had grown weary of the total lack of opportunity, flexibility, and support within the firm.
He eventually decided to quit and establish a semiconductor firm of his own, following the lead of Gordon Moore (with whom he founded the semiconductor firm Intel in 1968) and Robert Noyce (who developed Fairchild’s first silicon integrated circuit in 1959).
AMD was temporarily based in Santa Clara, California. In September 1969, the firm shifted its headquarters to Sunnyvale, California. At first, the company became a franchise supplier of microchips created by National Semiconductor and Fairchild Semiconductor.
AMD initially focused on developing logic chips. Quality control was handled by US Military Standard, a huge advantage in the then nascent computer industry since microchip unreliability was a unique challenge that customers always strived to avoid.
AMD made its first product, known as the Am9300, in November 1969 and began selling it the following year; it was a four-bit MSI shift register. Also, in the same year, the company made its own product for the first time, a logic counter known as the Am2505, which became the fastest multiplier on the market.
AMD made its first foray into the RAM chip industry in 1971, starting with a 64-bit bipolar RAM called the Am3101. That same year, the sale of AMD’s linear integrated circuits also significantly increased. By the end of 1971, the company’s total yearly sales hit $4.6 million.
In September 1972, AMD went public. By 1973, the company was making MOS/LSI circuits on behalf of Intel, with dual 100-bit shift registers like Am14/1507 and Am14/1506. By 1975, AMD was manufacturing 212 different products, with 49 of them being proprietary.
In 1971, Intel manufactured the first microprocessor, the 4-bit 4004. AMD had dipped its toe in the microprocessor industry with the Am9080 by 1975. The Am9080 was a reverse-designed replica of the Am2900 bit-slice series of microprocessors and Intel 8080.
In 1977, AMD partnered with German engineering corporation Siemens to help the latter enter the US market and improve its technological knowledge. Siemens bought a 20% share of AMD, giving the latter a cash injection to expand its product lines.
AMD and Siemens jointly founded Advanced Micro Computers, based in Germany and Silicon Valley. This allowed AMD to venture into the microcomputer manufacturing and development field, specifically based on AMD’s franchise Zilog Z8000 microprocessors.
However, the two companies had divergent visions for the newly established Advanced Micro Computers. As a result, AMD acquired Siemens’ shares in the US division in 1979. In late 1981, AMD shut down Advanced Micro Computers after changing its focus to start making Intel x86 microprocessors.
In financial year 1978, AMD’s total sales crossed the $100 million mark. AMD made its debut in the New York Stock Exchange in 1979. That same year, the production also started on the company’s brand new Semiconductor design facility in Austin, Texas.
AMD had already opened assembly plants overseas in Manila and Penang and started constructing a design facility in San Antonio, Texas, in 1981. A year earlier, AMD started supplying semiconductor goods for the telecommunications industry, experiencing rapid innovation and expansion.
AMD in the 1980s
The start of the 1980s saw personal computing entering the mainstream, and this is when AMD started supporting the exponential growth with quality alternatives to the Intel x86 microprocessors. AMD launched more design plants to meet customers’ demand and spent big on research and development. In addition, the company launched the highest manufacturing standard of the era, INTT.STD.1000.
By the close of the 1980s, the company had started working on its very own Submicron Development Center, in which it’d develop process-technology innovations throughout the decade. These innovations, which impact manufacturing throughout the process, have minimized the company’s manufacturing costs and enabled it to bring fascinating technical advancements to customers before competitors do so.
AMD in the 1990s
At the start of the 1990s, AMD changed its marketing approach. To offer its customers more varied solutions, the company widened its focus into areas of influence, including high-performance logic devices, programmable logic devices, PC-compatible microprocessors, and high-performance memory, communication, and networking chips.
After a protracted legal tussle, AMD shattered the monopoly of the Intel x386 microprocessor and supplied over 1 million units of its own Am386 series of processors. In 1993, the company started supplying Am486, its next-generation of microprocessors, giving customers even more avenues for cost savings and innovation.
AMD continued to lead the way in the making of integrated circuits all through the 1990s, ranking high in all its core business segments. It also kept innovating, introducing a new 32-megabit 1.8-volt memory product in 2000 that allowed mobile phone manufacturers to provide avant-garde features like electronic organizers and global positioning systems.
AMD in the 2000s
AMD underwent another notable transition in 2000 when Dr. Hector Ruiz was appointed the new Chief Operating Officer and President.
His knowledge and experience in processor technology and elite customer- and business-focused businesses put the company in a strong position as the fortunes of the technology industry nose-dived, and the economy slowed down. In fact, AMD performed way better than the rest of the industry.
In 2002, Ruiz came up with a new business philosophy dubbed the “connected business model,” where customers, partners, and companies were to establish relationships and invest in each other. AMD opened a development center to put into practice the new approach.
In 2003, AMD took another giant leap forward. It was the first company to find a way to upgrade the industry-standard x86 design to 64-bit personal and business computing. The company’s Opteron processor gave its users simplified 64-bit computing and greater performance, resulting in a historic partnership with Sun Microsystems.
AMD’s Athlon 64 processor provides users with unmatched performance via technology that supports both 64-bit and 32-bit computing. Former AMD President and Chief Operating Officer Dick Meyer and former CTO Fred Weber played leading roles in developing AMD’s phenomenal 64-bit technology.
Acquisition of ATI and Xilinx
In July 2006, AMD acquired ATI Technologies, a Canadian 3D graphics card firm, and 58 million of its shares for almost $5.4 billion. The deal was closed three months later. At the end of August 2010, the company announced that it’d rebrand its ATI graphics chipsets to AMD.
AMD announced it’d spin off manufacturing business into GlobalFoundries Inc., in a joint multibillion dollar venture with Abu Dhabi government’s Advanced Technology Investment Corporation. The spin-off and partnership gave AMD a cash injection that enabled it to focus on chip design solely.
AMD took some steps to assure its Abu Dhabi financiers that the new venture would be a success. First off, AMD’s CEO Hector Ruiz resigned his position in July 2008 but still remained executive chairman, ahead of becoming GlobalFoundries chairman in March 2009.
Dirk Meyer, AMD’s Chief Operating Officer and President became the company’s CEO. That same year, recessionary losses resulted in 1,100 AMD employees being laid off.
In October 2014, AMD was reorganized into two segments: Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom and Computing and Graphics. The former primarily includes embedded and server processors, engineering services, dense servers, royalties, and semi-customer SoC products. In contrast, the latter mainly includes notebook and desktop processors and chipsets, professional graphics, and discrete GPUs.
After the GlobalFoundries venture and ensuing layoffs, AMD remained with a huge vacant space at its aging Sunnyvale head office. After 47 years, AMD left its Sunnyvale headquarters for a new base in Santa Clara, California, in 2016. The company’s new headquarters face the headquarters of its main rival Intel.
In addition, AMD also decided to sell its original headquarters to Irvine Company when the company moved to Santa Clara. Irvine Company won approval from the Sunnyvale City Council to demolish their new headquarters and redevelop the whole 32-acre area into apartments and townhomes.
AMD announced it was buying out Xilinx in October 2020 in a stock-only transaction. The buyout was finalized in February 2022 for approximately $50 billion.
Now, after more than five decades in the industry, AMD keeps innovating and advancing the digital age. However, the company doesn’t just improve technology for improvement’s sake. It’s dedicated to helping its global customer base find solutions to real-world problems in the 21st century and beyond.
Summing Up the History of AMD
Advanced Micro Devices, aka AMD, is a US-based company that specializes in creating products like computer processors, motherboard chipsets, and microprocessors. AMD also develops graphic processors that are needed for all kinds of computer systems, including personal and business computers, game consoles, and handheld devices.
Founded in 1969 by Edwin Turney and Jerry Sanders, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. It has gone on to become the second-largest manufacturer of microprocessors as well as the world’s third-biggest manufacturer of graphics processing units.
In 2006, AMD merged with ATI Technologies, bringing together the microprocessor supplier and the first company to make the 3D graphics chip. ATI was the first manufacturer to make products working with Accelerated Graphics Port. By 1998, ATI had supplied 10 million AGP chips.
AMD’s main focus has always been a commitment to producing new, innovative products that truly benefit its customers. The company has always catered to the needs of customers, and it’s always developing new technology that gets better and better all the time.