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Upgrade push could be the salvation of long struggling AMD

In business, just like in real life, companies can be a victim of expectations.   Fortunately for chipmaker Intel it handily beat the estimates of Wall Street's top researchers, reporting its best quarter ever.  On Tuesday night after the closing bell Intel reported a Q2 2010 revenue of $10.8B USD, handily topping the $10.25B USD predicted by analysts.

Chipmaker AMD, the David to Intel's Goliath, had some good news of its own on Thursday.  The company posted a net loss for Q2 2010 of only $43M USD, $110M USD less than the loss widely predicted by Wall Street.  AMD reported revenue of $1.65B USD, where analysts had predicted it to pull in only $1.54B USD.  It also posted a promising Non-GAAP earnings were $83M USD.

AMD has benefited from its success in the GPU segment, and, like Intel, by a strong upgrade cycle demand for CPUs.  AMD credits stronger demand for notebook CPUs and GPUs as a major source of its turnaround.  With its latest results, AMD inches closer to finally crawling out of the money pit it has long been languishing in.  In fact, if the current results are any indication, AMD may return to profitability within a quarter or two.  

Ultimately, AMD and Intel are being buoyed up by a strong upgrade push both in the desktop and notebook sector.  A major part of this push is thanks to Windows 7, Microsoft's latest consumer operating system that is earning unanimous praise from reviewers and customers alike.

While some worry about the upgrade craze dying down, it seems likely to continue strong for some time while so many customers still have Windows XP.  Additionally, businesses will likely slowly jump onboard the upgrade train as they look to transition to Windows 7.  If Microsoft can replicate Windows 7's success with Windows 8, the outlook for both Intel and AMD may continue to be just as rosy.

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By frozentundra123456 on 7/16/2010 1:15:53 PM , Rating: 2
I am much less optimistic about AMD. Yes their graphic cards are great, but now nVidia is competitive again so they will probably have to cut prices on the 5xxx series. And in the CPU market, AMD is competitive only in the low end where they cannot make much money.
They are simply too slow to get out new products, except for graphics cards. I have been hearing "the future is Fusion" for a long time now, but who comes out with the first on die graphics, Itel. And it seems to be taking forever for bulldozer to come out. And AMD is also way behind in the notebook market too. Honestly, I think Intel could slash prices and drive AMD out of business if they wanted to, but they are probably afraid to do it because of antitrust concerns.
And I am not an intel fan. I prefer whoever makes the best product, and would love for AMD to be competitive across the board. But Intel just has better products and AMD does not seem to be able to overtake them.

By Amiga500 on 7/18/2010 5:50:41 AM , Rating: 2
1. ATi refresh due this autumn. GF104 is competitive only on a price performance:basis, not on a performance:mm^2 basis. ATi still has the technical advantage with a 9 month old part. (i.e. ATi can make Cypress cheaper than Nvidia can make GF104, and ATi can charge more for it)

2. AMD are not the size of Intel, and cannot afford to chase as many R&D paths as Intel. It is simply a limitation they have to work within.

3. BD is quite a different approach, and GloFo are having trouble with 32nm, so you can expect teething issues.

4. From everything I've seen, Bobcat is going to blow Intel's Atom completely out of the water. AMD could go on to completely dominate the netbook and laptop market over the coming years.

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