AMD Makes Profit on Top of Console Sales in Q4, But PC Biz Struggles
However, the vendor's Computing Solutions unit saw fourth-quarter revenues fall 13 percent over the same period in 2012, with executives pointing to the overall declines in PC shipments. The group lost $7 million in the quarter. Read said he expects the PC market to see another 10 percent decline in sales in 2014, in line with expectations from Gartner and IDC analysts. However, within that market, AMD will look to expand its reach into areas where it doesn't have a strong presence, executives said. The company launched the desktop version of its new "Kaveri" accelerated processing unit (APU) in December—with the mobile version coming this year—and also has the low-power "Mullins" and "Beema" APUs on tap for later in 2014. The new chips stack up well against Intel's low-power Atom "Bay Trail" offerings in both graphics and CPU performance, according to Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of AMD's global business units. "I think we feel very good about our positioning versus Bay Trail," Su said during the call. "We’re continuing to be very aggressive with how we position our products in the space, and we will look for a balanced business going forward there.""These are two key areas where we can provide leadership and we have been underrepresented in the past," Read said. "These will give us an opportunity to expand and they’re also areas that tend to have better growth performance than consumer notebook, because clearly consumer notebook in the entry space has been affected by the tablet. But that commercial area in desktop has been stronger and more resilient. We think that, as we mix up the stack, will continue to give us opportunity to produce profitability." AMD also is gearing up for the release this year of its first 64-bit SoCs based on the ARM architecture, which initially will be used in ultra-dense servers but also will find its way into other systems and embedded devices, according to Read.
Read said AMD has always been strong in the entry-level consumer notebook space, a market hardest hit by the rising popularity in tablets. However, the desktop space and commercial PC market should be areas where the company can grow, he said.