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AMD reports $590 million loss, claims no 28nm issues

AMD reports $590 million loss, claims no 28nm issues

AMD's $590 million loss for the quarter is painful, but is - in theory - a charge-related one-off.

AMD's latest earnings call has revealed a $590 million loss for the quarter, following a charge of $703 million resulting from its split with fabrication spin-off GlobalFoundries.

According to figures supplied by AMD to analysts and press during the quarterly earnings call, revenue from its processor division dropped eight per cent from Q4 2011 but was flat compared to the same quarter last year while graphics revenue was the opposite with no change compared to last quarter but a seven per cent drop year-on-year.

The quarterly figures weren't helped by AMD's purchase of microserver specialist SeaMicro, which chief financial officer Thomas Seifert claims had a further $281 million impact on its cashflow for the quarter. With the SeaMicro purchase largely regarded as a defensive move against the company's well-publicised work on Atom-powered cloud servers, it remains to be seen how investors view the charge.

To give investors something brighter on which to focus, Seifert claimed that his company would be starting production of next-generation 28nm accelerated processing units (APUs) based on the newly-renamed heterogeneous systems architecture (HSA) formerly known as Fusion. The production, scheduled to take place in the second half of this year, will be small-scale at first in preparation for a full-scale launch in 2013.

This comes along with an announcement from AMD PR man Phil Hughes that his company has already begun shipping volume quantities of the second-generation Trinity and Brazos 2.0 APUs to equipment makers. 'Trinity and Brazos 2.0 systems will be available globally soon,' Hughes promised - without, sadly, giving a firm date.

Interestingly, Seifert used the opportunity of the call to come to the defence of fabrication partners including Taiwan Semiconductor, claiming it has not had any problems with 28nm production capacity. 'We were able to meet customer demand in the first quarter,' Seifert explained, before admitting that 'we would like to have more access to the upside volume, but we have met pretty much all the demand in the first quarter.'

Seifert's claims of easily-met demand comes in stark contrast to Qualcomm's complaint of 28nm capacity problems at TSMC which has directly led to its being unable to meet customer demand for its Snapdragon S4 system-on-chip products.

16 Comments

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Parge 20th April 2012, 12:36 Quote
Jeeze. How long can they continue to lose money?
SoulRider 20th April 2012, 12:45 Quote
They spent $984m on charges/acquisitions and had a total loss of $590m. This means without those decisions the company would have announced a profit of $394m.
Adnoctum 20th April 2012, 13:46 Quote
Sea Micro acquisition was a good one, and there were other buyers sniffing around. They got in first and purchased a company that is making some VERY interesting products. Imagine if the Sea Micro servers were powered by 28nm Bobcat 2.0 quad-cores instead of Atoms?

The Global Foundries exclusivity contract was the last link that bound AMD to a single fab. The one off charge to GloFo means that AMD can take their work to other fabs instead of being tied to GloFo.
I think this was a good decision too. It means that AMD can take their CPU/APU work to competing fabs/processes instead of being held hostage to the schedule/investment of GloFo. AMD can now go to the fab that has the most mature/best/cheapest/highest performance/newest technology/<insert optimum characteristic> process available.
.//TuNdRa 20th April 2012, 13:55 Quote
The above is all true. Being limited to a single fab was virtually a choking point for AMD. We all remember the horrible power-draw of the Bulldozer samples, because GloFo couldn't get the process quite right. It'd be interesting to see if things will start to look up for AMD Next year, now they're a bit more free to operate, and own Sea Micro. I simply hope the shareholders can see the sense in this.

Tl;dr: They made a loss at the moment, but set themselves up for much better profits in the future. In theory.
Tangster 20th April 2012, 20:45 Quote
'We were able to meet customer demand in the first quarter,' Seifert explained, before admitting that 'we would like to have more access to the upside volume, but we have met pretty much all the demand in the first quarter.'

Possibly because AMD doesn't have as much demand for it's 28nm products compared to Qualcomm?
InSanCen 20th April 2012, 22:28 Quote
Or, alternatively, AMD took up a large part of the Capacity, giving others a slimmer look-in at the process for their products?

We'll probably never know so, as always, the speculation is rampant, and the two sides will never see eye to eye.
Adnoctum 21st April 2012, 01:56 Quote
It shouldn't come as too much of a shock that there is a far greater market for <$600 smart-phones than there is for <$600 graphics cards. It would be interesting to compare the die sizes of the Snapdragon S4 SoC to that of a HD7750/HD7770.

Further there has got to be enormous pressure on Qualcomm to have sufficient quantities of SD S4 available for the handset makers to put in their new products. No maker is going to want to be left with nothing to offer as their competitors tout greater processing power/longer battery life on new models. Previews are showing it is going to be seriously fast, so demand will be very high.
Madness_3d 21st April 2012, 14:37 Quote
I have to say the marketing decision to write 8 core on the side of the bulldozer chips was a good one, in the last few weeks the number of people who wanted an 8 series FX chip just because it said 8 core was huge. shame for them people look at benchmarks before making large scale orders...
Adnoctum 21st April 2012, 17:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madness_3d
I have to say the marketing decision to write 8 core on the side of the bulldozer chips was a good one, in the last few weeks the number of people who wanted an 8 series FX chip just because it said 8 core was huge. shame for them people look at benchmarks before making large scale orders...

I thought we were done with the whole "Is a Bulldozer module 2 cores or 1?" argument?
Can we move on to some other pressing matter, like whether or not ATI has fixed their graphics drivers yet?
SchizoFrog 21st April 2012, 17:40 Quote
I bet those figures are gross though. I hear that they are actually still losing money.
misterd77 22nd April 2012, 01:26 Quote
iv still got faith in amd's apu/hsa concept, I believe......lol....naw seriously, trinity is going to change the game for mid range gaming, if they can release a chip with 6/700 stream cores, and implement crossfire x properly, they got a winner in my eyes, I want to build the slimmest gaming pc I can, and with trinity and a discrete mobile gpu, tied to an fm2 laptop motherboard, I can see me getting down to around a 1 cm thick case, I havnt seen anyone use a laptop motherboard for a custom pc before, (i might be wrong, but I havnt come across such a build) so I think my next build may be unique in that aspect, getting hold of the parts may prove a challenge though, I may just have to buy a trinity based laptop and rip the board out of it....
Flora62 22nd April 2012, 02:56 Quote
How long can they continue to lose money?
penryn 2 hertz 22nd April 2012, 22:07 Quote
They need a new foundry...
feathers 23rd April 2012, 10:03 Quote
A small loss for AMD. I should have supported them by buying a bulldozer but I don't have room for it in my back yard.
Haserath 23rd April 2012, 10:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madness_3d
I have to say the marketing decision to write 8 core on the side of the bulldozer chips was a good one, in the last few weeks the number of people who wanted an 8 series FX chip just because it said 8 core was huge. shame for them people look at benchmarks before making large scale orders...

I thought we were done with the whole "Is a Bulldozer module 2 cores or 1?" argument?
Can we move on to some other pressing matter, like whether or not ATI has fixed their graphics drivers yet?

AMD's graphics drivers work fine for most of their customers. Otherwise, they wouldn't buy AMD.
---
Hope to see profit from them next quarter... and not another 'one-time' charge netting a negative again...
Ingrid37 24th April 2012, 08:17 Quote
They spent $984m on charges/acquisitions and had a total loss of $590m.
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