Feeds

Cheers for AMD's shrinking losses

Or are they for Fusion?

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Wall Street moneymen pumped AMD's stock up by as much as seven per cent after the chip maker announced lower year-on-year losses Thursday, a gain that settled back to about four per cent after the initial buzz mellowed.

In its third fiscal quarter, AMD announced on Thursday, the company took in $1.62bn for a net loss of $118m. During the same period in 2009, AMD's revenues were $1.4bn for a net loss of $128m.

According to the analysts at Thomson Reuters, the word on the Street was to expect revenue of $1.6bn. That $200m lagniappe is certainly not earthshaking, but with the rough ride that AMD has been on in the past few years — it lost $134m in the third quarter of 2008 — it was welcome.

But chief financial Thomas Seifert cautioned that the company's current quarter won't be a barn-burner. "For the fourth quarter of 2010," he told analysts and reporters listening in on a conference call announcing the results, "we expect revenue to be approximately flat as compared to the third quarter."

Any significant improvement in AMD's lot is on hold, waiting for the appearance of its Fusion family of APUs — AMD's term for accelerated processing units that combine CPU, GPU, and potentially other accelerators on the same die.

"Our first APU platforms, code-named Brazos and based on our Zacate and Ontario processors, are expected... early next year," AMD president and chief executive Dirk Meyer told his audience.

"Brazos is ahead of schedule," Meyer said, "with customer shipments on track for the fourth quarter and customer systems available early next year."

Meyer clearly wanted his listeners to hold high hopes for his APUs. "The AMD Fusion family is a game-changer," he said. "It will significantly expand our addressable market and is already changing the way the industry harnesses the power of the GPU."

Production shipments of Brazos' follow-on, the 32-nanometer Llano APU line, are planned for the first half of 2011, Meyer said, claiming that "our AMD Fusion strategy is changing the industry."

But the industry itself is changing due to the tabletmania phenomenon — and Meyers admitted that AMD is behind the curve on that score: "I think you'll see AMD-based solutions in tablets in the next couple of years," he said.

"Our overall strategy with respect to tablets is to first observe that that's a form factor that we think is going to grow over time and be important over time... and one which we'll devote specific R&D energy towards when the market is big enough to justify that investment."

For now, Meyer said, AMD will focus on expanding its notebook-market penetration, then worry about tablets. "Frankly," he said, "we're still so small in the notebook market that given all the opportunities in front of us it doesn't make sense for us to start turning R&D dollar spending towards the tablet market yet."

In other words, let's get out of this pool of red ink, and then we'll figure out what our tablet strategy should be.

With ARM powering the lion's share of low-power parts, and Intel CEO Paul Otellini telling the world just yesterday that Chipzilla would "win" in the tablet market, Meyer's caution may be wise. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.