Thursday night, AMD reported a mixed round of earnings. It
reported a non-GAAP quarterly profit of $108M USD widely beating the
narrow $2M USD profit margin it posted a year before. But its
GAAP adjusted earnings (which take into account interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortization) showed a net loss of $118M
USD. Revenue increased 16 percent from $1.4B USD a
year before to $1.62B USD, but fell slightly short of the average
analyst prediction of $1.67B USD. After years of
struggles there was some signs, though, that the chipmaker may
finally be preparing to turn the corner. It reported a 33 percent
year-to-year rise in graphics segment sales, showing off its
gains over struggling competitor NVIDIA.Perhaps
most promising, as noted by AnandTech, AMD's earnings
call (audio) Thursday night contained an intriguing
disclosure from CEO Dirk Meyer. Mr. Meyer comments in the call,
"We will be launching our second-generation DX11 graphics
offerings next week."That "second-generation"
is namely the AMD Radeon 6xxx DirectX 11 GPU series, whose specs
leaked late last month. The leaked specs sheet shows
the redesigned GPU doubling many of the stats (memory bandwidth,
Z/Stencil, and pixel rates) of the previous generation.AMD is
apparently very confident that its supply chain will be robust this
time around. Mr. Meyer promises that the cards will be
available in time for the holidays and that it plans to ship
"hundreds of thousands of units" before the end of the
year.The new series will be the first GPU series from AMD not
to bear the ATI brand name, which AMD recently
killed off.If AMD can deliver on this promise, it should
mean even more fierce competition for NVIDIA. NVIDIA was
finally able to take a breather, having at last moved its
long-delayed Fermi Geforce 400 series out the door this spring,
volumes pick up over the summer.There was also
plenty of interesting news from AMD in the CPU sector. Mr.
Meyer announced, "We look forward to building on this momentum
when we begin shipping our first AMD Fusion Accelerated Processor
Units later this quarter."AMD's long-awaited
Fusion processor could generate significant buzz among OEMs
as it looks to offer a single affordable CPU/GPU solution in a
singe-chip package. AMD lags widely behind Intel in market
share (AMD holds around 10-20 percent of the market, while Intel
holds 80 to 90 percent), but it may post substantial gains by beating
Intel to market with PC-ready system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs.
Intel is also preparing Fusion-like CPU/GPU SoC designs, but its GPU
experience lags behind AMD's.In the earnings call Mr. Meyer,
like his competitor Intel, also emphasized tablets
would increasingly be a priority for his company. He
says AMD's netbook-geared chips will show up in tablets over the next
couple years and that once the market shows greater growth, AMD will
"show up with a differentiated offering with great graphics and
video technology."AMD CTO of servers Donald Newell also
boldly predicted an end to the core wars, which AMD is currently deep
in. He likened the trend of chipmakers packing more cores on a
chip to the clock speed wars of the nineties. He comments to PC
"There will come an end to the core-count wars. I won't
put an exact date on it, but I don't myself expect to see 128 cores
on a full-sized server die by the end of this decade."Mr.
Newell says that thermal restrictions, as with with the clock speed
wars, will be the key limiting factor.
quote: Not sure how taxes and other factors play in there, but if you look at it through my laymen eyes, it looks like ati has already paid for itself.
quote: say worst case scenario ati's earnings were cut in half at the crash, that would still mean that ati has already earned them 5.5billion
quote: So what you are saying if you buy a business for $1M, that makes $500k a year, but makes $0 profit, you'll get your 1M back after two years? Ah...no.
quote: I'll just come out and say it: ATI saved AMD. Their CPU marketshare was seriously dwindling (still is), but ATI's GPUs are killer competitors in the market today.
quote: There would be no Fusion if it weren't for the acquisition of ATI. Those numbers do look bad on paper today, but in this industry, you better be looking forward at all times.
quote: How is that saving AMD?
quote: I'd been looking at a GTX460 too
quote: I'd go with an EVGA GTX470 Super clocked. Exceeds the 5870 in almost every bench.
quote: Well, if DX11.1 will be as popular as DX10.1 was... I would not be too worried about it, or the lack of it.
quote: The year 1 was the first year.