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AMD at least has the release of Trinity, Southern Islands to look forward to

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.'s (AMD) new CEO Rory Read said AMD is working to be a company that "consistently delivers on its commitments."

It looks as though the company has a bit of work left to do.

AMD aired its earnings for (calendar) Q4 2011 late Tuesday and the result was a clear miss.  Versus much of the rest of 2011 [1][2][3], where it posted profits, Q4 saw a $177M USD net loss when the results were adjusted to the general acceptable accounting practices (GAAP), the U.S. accounting standard.

Revenue stayed constant from Q3 2011 at $1.69B USD.  This is a fairly substantial miss from the analyst consensus earnings target of $1.71B USD [source].

Aside from a slightly depressed gross margin (down 1 percent), the net loss comes largely due to a set of charges (losses).  AMD took a $209M USD impairment charge on its investment in the GlobalFoundries chip fab, a $24M USD payment to GlobalFoundries charge, and a $98M USD general restructuring charge.  AMD began laying off some employees in Nov. 2011.

AMD warns that the situation will get worse, with weakening demand expected for H1 2012.  It's predicting$1.56B USD in Q1 2012 revenue.  Previously, analyst targets had hovered around $1.7B USD, but they've since been adjusted down to a slightly more optimistic $1.59B USD.

The chipmaker saw graphics revenue dip 10 percent, with mobile GPU sales down.  This dip may be compensated in H1 2011 by the official availability of the Radeon 7000 HD series (codenamed Southern Islands).  In the good news department, AMD's "computing solutions" department surged 7 percent in sales, keeping revenue steady from Q3 2011.  AMD says its server and chipset sales have improved.

Trinity in the wild
Picture top to bottom: Brazos, the Fusion APU Trinity (middle), and the Southern Islands GPU TahitiTrinity and Tahiti are expected to launch in 2012 and give a boost to AMD's revenue
(Trinity's on-die GPU is partially derived Tahiti).  [Image is property of DailyTech/Jason Mick]

In total, AMD made a net income (annual profit) of $491M USD in 2011, up modestly from 2010, a critical turnaround year for the firm.

Looking ahead AMD's gloomy forecast is definitely cause for caution.  However, substantial excitement is surrounding AMD's next-generation ultrathin-geared "Fusion" accelerated processing units (APUs).  

AMD is looking to stay aggressive with pricing, allowing for sub-$500 ultrathin laptops.  Assuming AMD can keep its volume of the new chips high, it could see strong sales based on this attractive price point.  AMD is confident that its APUs will beat similar Intel Corp. (INTCIvy Bridge system-on-a-chip designs in price, battery life, and graphics, though it concedes that Ivy Bridge will likely have more computing power.

AMD shares were puzzling trading 2.6 percent higher, despite the earnings miss and despite the general market being down about a quarter of a percent.

Sources: AMD, FT [analyst predictions]

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By bug77 on 1/25/2012 6:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
Llano can actually play skyrim relatively well at 720p. Obviously it's not full size discrete performance but it's playable on medium, which is similar in settings scaled to consoles. It's not bad at all for portable device gaming.

Which Llano? Llano for desktops has a GPU that tops out at 600MHz. Llano for mobile tops out at 444MHz. Maybe the desktop variant can handle Sjyrim at 720p medium settings, but that wouldn't qualify as portable gaming.
I used to be an AMD only guy, but since Conroe I can't justify spending my cash on anything they have to offer.

By someguy123 on 1/25/2012 7:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
There are some videos on youtube with people playing it on the a6. not sure how the clock speeds work on the cpu but they're labeled 2.3/1.4ghz on amd's specsheets, so I'm assuming they turbo? the videos I've found claim overclocks to 2.5ghz, so I'd say the a8s would run them similarly at stock speeds.

seems to work out alright considering it's a portable single package, if not the most fluid experience.

By MGSsancho on 1/25/2012 11:48:06 PM , Rating: 2
If portable gaming is as important as you keep bringing up them there are various solutions from many vendors that will be happy to provide you with as much of a gaming experience as you are willing to pay for. Right tool for the right job. Do not complain when a $400 laptop can not play the latest and greatest settings maxed out or even on medium. Purchase a bigger machine (heck even an $800 laptop will go far with skyrim let-alone a $1500 one) if you that is all you care about (I assume that is all you care about since you keep harping on that lone factor). There are many options when purchasing a laptop; aesthetics, weight, size, heat, noise, CPu power, GPU power, joules power, screen attributes, keyboard layout, auxiliary ports and finally craftsmanship. These can be grouped together but honestly if you are going to use a platform based around an entry level CPU then the workload should reflect it.

Lastly, the most intelligent thing you have added to this thread is
...since Conroe I can't justify spending my cash on anything they have to offer.
Perhaps in the type of computing you personally do for most of your time Intel is the best solution and you should follow your own advice and stick with Intel solutions. :)

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