AMD's Q3 Profit Constrained by Manufacturing Problems
October 28, 2011 8:29 AM
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Strong mobile and server results power profits
Advance Micro Devices saw gains in revenue and profits in the third quarter of 2011, but those were tempered by "significant manufacturing challenges" at GlobalFoundries. The company's results were generally positive: revenue rose to $1.69 billion, a 7 percent sequential increase and a 4 percent increase year-over-year. Net income was $97 million, with earnings per share of $0.13.
The company was particularly strong in the mobile and server spaces. Its
mobile Fusion APUs
saw a 60% increase in shipments, while the first deliveries of its
led to a 27% gain in server revenue sequentially. The mobile segment was strong thanks to increased sales in emerging markets like India and China, which saw a 23% growth in quarterly CPU revenues.
"Strong adoption of AMD APUs drove a 35 percent sequential revenue increase in our mobile business," elaborated Rory Read, AMD's new President and CEO.
That success is part of the problem. Yield, ramp, and other 32 nm manufacturing issues at GlobalFoundries' Fab 1 in Dresden limited supply of
"Llano" Fusion APUs
-based FX CPUs
The company has been divesting its ownership of GloFo, its former manufacturing arm. It now holds 9.6% of its primary manufacturing partner, with the majority controlled by the Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), wholly owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Supply of 45nm product was also less than expected, due to unforeseen complexities related to the use of common tools across both technology nodes. Read admitted that he was "disappointed with yields" so far, but said that both companies were working closely together to overcome those problems.
"Despite supply constraints, we saw double-digit revenue and unit shipment growth in emerging markets like China and India as well as overall notebook share gains in retail at mainstream price points. Through disciplined execution and continued innovation we will look to accelerate our growth and refine our focus on lower power, emerging markets, and the cloud," he stated.
AMD spent $361 million on research and development during Q3, and also saw strong graphics revenue of $403 million thanks to robust back-to-school upgrades. It should see a boost this quarter, thanks to the launch of its next-generation of
GPUs using 28nm technology
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10/28/2011 8:52:00 AM
Can't wait to see what the Radeon HD 7000 series is like...
Should be a fairly hefty jump as they had to stick with 45/40nm again, And hold off on a move to 32nm thanks to TMSC.
SO, hopefully it should result in a significantly more powerful/smaller/efficient GPU this time around compared to this generation. (Complete with yield issues due to the new process.)
Don't know about anyone else... But my 2x Radeon 6950 2gb cards unlocked into 6970's are starting to be a little long in the tooth when running some of the newer games at 5760x1080 (Eyefinity) resolution. - Especially when you sprinkle some Anti-Aliasing into the mix.
10/28/2011 9:35:51 AM
They shouldn't have any trouble manufacturing the 7000 on TSMC 28nm. TSMC is currently turning out parts on that process as we speak.
So I doubt we'll see many 40nm parts. I have a feeling thats why the 7000 isn't even out yet; AMD was waiting for 28nm to come online to prevent yet ANOTHER generation of 40nm parts. After all, they demo'd the 7000 architecture with working silicon in what, June?
10/31/2011 8:07:29 AM
You have misread his post Samus. When he said AMD *had* to hold out for 40nm, he meant the HD6xxx series,
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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