April 26, 2018 // 11:26 a.m.
AMD has filed its earnings for the first quarter of its 2018 financial year, and it's clear that the Zen architecture has been a roaring success: Revenue is up 40 percent year-on-year.
Following in the footsteps of Intel's NetBurst architecture, which was abandoned after six years of declining sales and technical issues in favour of an updated version of the architecture used for the classic Pentium III family of processors, AMD's launch of the Bulldozer architecture was equally disastrous. Unable to keep up with Intel's Core family of processors, AMD echoed its rival exactly with a six-year struggle followed by the launch of a new architecture based on its earlier K10: Zen.
Having been available commercially for just over a year and now joined by a tweaked variant dubbed Zen+, the Zen architecture - sold as Ryzen into the mainstream and enthusiast market, Threadripper into the high-end desktop (HEDT) market, and Epyc to the data centre - has provided the company with some much-needed success. High core counts and acceptable single-threaded performance coupled with aggressive pricing have taken the fight directly to Intel, and it shows in the company's latest earnings report in the form of a 40 percent boost in revenue year-on-year.
In its filing for the first quarter of its 2018 financial year, AMD has boasted of $1.65 billion in revenue, up from $1.18 billion a year prior. Its gross margin, too, is up, and while at 36 percent it's far below rival Intel's considerably healthier 63 percent it's enough to have driven the company to an $81 million profit from its $33 million loss for the same quarter last year.
'The first quarter was an outstanding start to 2018 with 40 percent year-over-year revenue growth,' crowed Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and chief executive, during the company's earnings call. 'PC, gaming and data centre adoption of our new, high-performance products continues to accelerate. We are excited about our long-term roadmaps and focused on delivering sustained revenue growth and profitability.'
By far the biggest winner from the company's various business sectors was the Computing and Graphics Segment, into which the Ryzen, Threadripper, and Radeon revenues are reported, which showed a 95 percent year-on-year increase in revenue. The company's Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom division, which includes the customised accelerated processing units (APUs) which drive Microsoft and Sony's respective games consoles as well as the Epyc server processor families, didn't have quite as much to celebrate, posting a 12 percent year-on-year decline in revenue - a drop the company blames entirely on the semi-custom, games-console-chip, portion of the business.
More information on the company's financial results is available on the AMD investor relations site.