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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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RE: AMD
By frozentundra123456 on 1/25/2012 7:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
I like how AMD fans excuse AMDs cpu shortcomings with "good enough" but endlessly criticize Intels graphics.
Apparently the "good enough" justification applies only to AMD. For the uses listed, I would contend that SB graphics are "good enough" and Ivy bridge will be considerably better. But I never hear an AMD fan say: AMDs graphics are better, but Intels are "good enough".


RE: AMD
By StevoLincolnite on 1/25/2012 11:22:15 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I like how AMD fans excuse AMDs cpu shortcomings with "good enough" but endlessly criticize Intels graphics.


Because it's just not performance that is being criticized.
It's the drivers to, Intel's graphics drivers have been woeful in the past.
I remember when the Intel x3100 was released, it took Intel many many months just to enable TnL and even longer to add Shader Model 3 and Direct X 10 support.

Then Intel went with a profiling system in regards to TnL support because some games/applications performed better with it some performed better with it being software accelerated.

Don't get me started on how Intel has a compatibility list for games... At-least with AMD or nVidia you can feel confident in launching any game and have it actually rendered correctly with out strange artifacts or slow-down where there shouldn't be slow-down because a game decides to use a 2D overlay for it's interface.

Intel Graphics may be "good enough" for the average joe, but when they decide to download and install an obscure casual game to play and find it will not work properly... Well, they are left in the lurch pretty much.


RE: AMD
By Reclaimer77 on 1/25/2012 11:43:17 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Intel's graphics drivers have been woeful in the past.


LOL And ATI's weren't? More double standards.


RE: AMD
By MastermindX on 1/26/2012 1:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I never hear an AMD fan say: AMDs graphics are better, but Intels are "good enough"


I don't know about them, but as for me...

I can't remember the last time my CPU was a bottleneck in my system. The GPU on the other hand...


"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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