I don't think they'll die. There are a few private investors dropping some mega bone$ in AMD.
Something else people may want to keep at the back of their mind...AMD did make an announcement in November relating to the desire to focus more on the mainstream market and the Spider platform.
I think that statement was the unofficial 'passing of the performance torch' to Intel. Core technology really kicked 'em in the gut in 2007, but they still kept up a good fight. It's hard to place the blame on engineering - they most likely had an enormous amount executive pressure on their shoulders
If it were me (and I am in the engineering business), I'd be on a witch hunt...and start with Ruiz and his cronies. They were most likely the reason for Phenom's performance failure. If the senior execs allowed engineering more time instead of spreading propaganda (you know, that stuff that both looks and sounds like $hit), we could be reading articles and reports 180-out from where they are now.
OTOH, they needed (and still need) to generate some cash flow. ATI's lackluster array of products in 2007 was dead weight. I'd imagine they bet the bank on the 512-bit 2900XT, only to lose that battle as well.
I'm still trying to find out what particular facet of ATI AMD couldn't resist. Was it the idea of a Mac-like platform? I doubt it. Maybe they had some 8x10 glossies of Hector. Who knows.
//rant offviva Hector