In September of 2015 (that would be this year) AMD announced that they were splitting off their GPU business into the Radeon Technologies Group (RTG). This move had a number of reasons (most good) and would serve to distance the graphics group from the CPU business. After talking to a few investors they were very optimistic about this move and would consider investing in RTG where they might not have done so in AMD. The split was a long time coming and is actually how AMD should have handled the ATi buy back in 2006 (Merger with separate business units and not a complete buy out).
When I first started truly reporting on the tech world there were two power houses making CPUs. You had AMD on one side and Intel on the other. There were a few other companies that were making x86 compatibles, but no one was close to putting out processors in the numbers that AMD and Intel were. Intel was the king with a massive chunk of the market share. After a few deals with DEC and Samsung AMD came up with a CPU and chipset that changed the mind of many enthusiast and started the era of real performance competition between the two.
PowerColor has introduced a graphics card LCS R9 290X, which comes with 4GB of GDDR5 memory and water cooling. PowerColor graphics card is currently only (R9 Radeon 290X) on the market that instead of cooling fan has water cooling. It is composed of a closed block within which there is coolant, completely covering all the built-in components and keeping them at temperatures below 60 degrees Celsius even under maximum load.
Over the course of the last year or so we have watched as a once solid company has started to crumble into a shadow of its former self. Yes we are talking about AMD and although the trip down the path to where they are now started years ago we have to wonder if there was ever a chance to change things and get the company back on track.
AMD has lost another high-level employee today. This time in the form of Eric Demers CTO of the AMD graphics division; although I have never met Eric I have heard of him from others and it seems there are mixed feelings about the impact this will have on AMD. Some are saying that there will be no immediate impact. This is probably true as AMD’s GPU business is mapped out until at least the end of 2012.
They say the consumer has a very short memory and that may be true in many cases, but when news that AMD is being sued by Quanta (the largest contract notebook maker in the world) we saw many, many posts and comments bringing up nVidia’s fiasco with the 8600M GPU. Although the two issues might appear to be similar, they are very far apart in terms of not only the problem, but who was/is ulimately responsible for the problem.
Over the last few months I have watched a few analysis articles hit the internet with comments about the “stale” PC market and how the desktop PC is dying. These predictors of doom and gloom have always been around and in many cases I have a feeling they are saying these things because they want you to believe them. The funny thing is that the reality of the PC market is quite different from these fairy tales. If you need proof of that you need look no further than the earnings results from the two main CPU manufacturers. Intel posted a record quarter and even AMD is profitable and managed an increase in revenue over last quarter.
AMD has finally started to turn things around on their own. For a little while they were running off of the settlement that they received from Intel and we watched with interest as they dipped back down from profit to loss. However they had a rebound in Q2 and managed a $61 million in net income in Q2. For Q3 AMD has seen a very nice improvement. Their total revenue was $1.69 Billion with a 7% new income increase of just over 7% bringing the Q3 income up to 97 Million. This is a HUGE improvement over Q3 2010 where they posted a $118 Million Dollar loss. Of course this was taken care of in Q4 by the Intel settlement which let AMD post their first positive quarter in something like 5 years.
AMD’s ATi division also saw improvement where they posted a net income of $12 Million. In Q2 this division was down and posted a $7 Million loss. Right now AMD is pointing toward the Llano APUs as the reason for this increase in cash. Another factor in this (according to the AMD press release) is an increase in adoption of the AMD platform in notebooks. They specifically mention Asus, Acer, Dell, Lenovo, HP and others saying that they have globally increased their offerings with AMD APUs.
Things do look up for AMD, but there is an interesting statement in their PR which leads me to think that all is not beer and pizza. Looking at their forecast AMD is predicting only a 3% growth with a 1-2% margin of error. This means that despite the launch of a new Opteron, the new FX Series CPUs and additional OpenCL adoption they are only expecting a 1% revenue increase in Q4. This is not what I would call confidence in newly launched products. We will see if AMD is able to pull off a better increase or if the launch of Intel’s next CPU will put a damper on their Q3 increases and end 2011 for AMD on a down quarter.
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