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Shared Values: AMD's Commitment to the State of California

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Welcome to another edition of AMD’s “Shared Values” blog series. In a previous post, I highlighted some of the shared value priorities of AMD in Texas. In this blog, I will turn the spotlight on our operations in California, where AMD was founded.

AMD has enjoyed a long and vibrant history in California that began in 1969 when a group of Fairchild engineers decided to start a new semiconductor company, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Jerry Sanders was named president and he remained at the helm for 32 years, bringing immeasurable passion to the company and industry.

Our engineers in California architect and design leading edge Compute Processing (x86), Graphics, Data Fabric, and Interface IP to form the building blocks of the innovative products that AMD brings to the market. These products power everything from the Microsoft® Xbox One™ and the Sony PlayStation 4, to many powerful, virtual reality (VR)-ready desktops and Windows® 10-based laptops, 5K iMacs, and the MacBook Pro, and beyond. AMD is the only company that can do both high-performance x86 and graphics processing unit (GPU) products, and our California site plays a major role in their development.

AMD has been contributing to the state’s thriving technology industry ecosystem for 47 years through jobs, tax revenue, university relations, and charitable involvement.  We employ nearly 800 workers and California is home to many of AMD’s top executives.  We embrace the opportunities and responsibilities that come with this recognition and in this vein, I would like to highlight three areas of shared values.

Economic Prosperity

The economy in which our employees and their families work and live is a pathway to opportunity and prosperity. In the State of California, AMD primarily hires for jobs in engineering, technical fields, and professional support roles. 100 percent of these jobs exceed the average wage for the State of Calfornia.1

Innovation is key to growing a strong economy and AMD holds more than 5,000 U.S. intellectual property patents, including more than 1,000 with one or more California inventors.

To help promote the vibrant economy of our region, state, and nation, and with an eye toward the future, 40 years ago this July, then-AMD CEO Jerry Sanders joined Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard and 30 other Valley visionaries to create the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. "The Silicon Valley technology industry is a tremendous contributor to our country's jobs, investments, and economic stability. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is indebted to AMD for having the foresight and fortitude to help found our organization," says its president and CEO Carl Guardino. AMD also supports other regional business initiatives such as the Silicon Valley Employers Forum.

Environmental Sustainability

AMD values its strong relationships with California universities not only for innovative technology but also for environmental sustainability. AMD regularly collaborates with universities, such as Stanford and UC Berkeley, on a variety of projects focused on evaluating the potential environmental impacts of computing products. For example, since 2016 AMD has been engaging with professors at UC Berkeley on a project focused on assessing and optimizing the energy efficiency of gaming computers. Senior AMD technical staff have also co-authored articles with professors addressing issues such as computing energy efficiency.

AMD recognizes its responsibility to reduce our direct impacts on the environment and to inspire and enable others to do the same. Our Sunnyvale site is a past recipient of the Breathe California Clean Air Award for leadership in alternative transportation. For many years, AMD has sponsored a public shuttle that connects our headquarters at 1 AMD Place to nearby Caltrain stations. Employees can also purchase public transit passes using pre-tax dollars, saving 30-40 percent.

Vibrant Neighborhoods

AMD strives to be a model corporate citizen in the communities where we are located. We have a strong reputation as an engaged partner with California charitable organizations and contribute to numerous California schools and nonprofit organizations focusing on STEM programs, basic needs, environmental projects, and more. AMD's workforce in Silicon Valley has volunteered over 2,600 hours in company-sponsored events over the last five years.

Our community partnerships might be best exemplified by AMD's engagement with Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) in Sunnyvale, which we have been a longstanding partner with for over 20 years. Our campus has provided financial grants, and local AMDers volunteer regularly assembling educational project kits. By investing in our communities, we're able to build stronger relationships.


Ruth Cotter, AMD Chief HR Officer and SVP Corporate Communications and Investor Relations,

and Devinder Kumar, AMD CFO and Treasurer

AMD employees volunteering at RAFT during AMD's annual Day of Service

As we move our headquarters down the road from Sunnyvale to Santa Clara in late 2017, our company’s commitment to California remains strong. We look forward to a continued, unwavering presence in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, and the State of California, anchored in part by the values we appreciate and share with our community.

Susan Moore is AMD’s Corporate Vice President of Public Affairs, and past Chair of Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). Her postings are her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.