AMD made $97 million in the third quarter due in large part to strong mobile chip sales and increased prices of Opteron processors.
Advanced Micro Devices, plagued earlier
this quarter by manufacturing
that limited the supply of some PC processors and forced the
company to cut its financial forecast, turned a profit in the third quarter
thanks in large part to strong sales of notebook chips.
AMD executives Oct. 27 reported
third-quarter revenues of $1.69 billion, a 4 percent jump over the same period in
2010, and turned a profit of $97 million. During the third quarter last year,
AMD lost $118 million. AMD saw significant growth not only in its mobile chip
business, but also with its Opteron server processors, due to higher average
During a conference call with analysts
and journalists, AMD CEO Rory Read talked about the gains the company has made
with its Fusion
, offering processors-what AMD calls accelerated processing units,
or APUs-that integrate the CPU and high-level graphics chips on the same piece
of silicon. The vendor first introduced the Fusion APUs at the 2011 Consumer
Electronics Show in January, and has expanded the initiative since, introducing
such processors for everything from low-power PCs to mainstream desktop to
According to Read and CFO Thomas
Seifert, AMD is seeing particular traction with APUs for notebooks, with revenues
jumping 20 percent over the same period last year, with shipments increasing 60
percent over the second quarter. The Fusion chips now account for more than 90
percent of all the mobile processors AMD ships, said Read, who was appointed
CEO in August
In particular, Read noted the success
of the "Brazos" APUs for lightweight notebooks and netbooks, and "Llano" chips
for mainstream systems. AMD officials expect the momentum to continue into
2012, when the company will release "Trinity," the next-generation Fusion chips
for mainstream PCs that they say will offer a 20 percent to 30 percent increase
However, while pleased with the
financial figures from the third quarter, Read said the biggest challenge
facing AMD is improving the company's execution of its strategies. In
September, AMD officials lowered their financial forecast for the quarter due
to problems at the Germany plant of manufacturing partner Globalfoundries.
Globalfoundries was created in 2009
when AMD spun off its manufacturing business. According to AMD, the issues at
the manufacturing facilities limited the supplies of the vendor's 32-nanometer
Llano chips, and also forced AMD to slightly delay the shipments of its Opteron
6200 "Interlagos" server processors.
The delays had a ripple effect to PC
and server OEMs, who had to delay some products until the chips were available.
Read said that while the problems did not "irreversibly damage our trust [with
OEM partners] ... we've eroded it." Ensuring that such problems don't recur is a
top job at AMD going forward, he said.
"Improving our execution and improving
our supply position has to be our priorities," Read said, adding that that work
is already under way. The situation is improving, "but we're not out of the
Read, as president of PC and server
vendor Lenovo before taking the top job at AMD, said he understands how
important it is to systems makers to have reliable supply partners,
particularly chip vendors.
The manufacturing issues hit AMD as it
finds itself in a difficult competitive landscape, pinched between larger rival
Intel in the high end of the processor market and chip makers using
designs from ARM Holdings in the low-power space. Read said AMD will continue
to focus on its low-power push as a key tenet of its overall