WE'RE NOT ONES TO usually follow the ups and downs of the company's financials, but AMD did manage to squeeze out a profit in the first quarter of 2010.
The first quarter is traditionally slow for business and it's normally expected to return the lowest sales of the year. However AMD managed to post net income of $257 million, slightly lower than the strong 2009 Q4 but the best Q1 the company has had in a while.
Both the CPU and GPU divisions lost a bit of income - 3 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively - but the "mix", as AMD CEO Dirk Meyer put it, was a bit more favourable, that is, selling a bit more at the higher end and making better margins.
AMD sees the disproportionate growth of its server business as welcome news for the prospects of its upcoming 8-core and 12-core servers. Its Magny Cours line of servier chips will be available this quarter, said Meyer.
The company's roadmaps will continue very much the same added Meyer. But during the Q&A he did shed some additional light on a few items.
Fusion, AMD's first CPU plus GPU combination, will ramp towards the end of this year, with partners marketing retail units in the first half of 2011. The company has started sampling both versions of Fusion with some clients already and the web should be a-buzz with talk about them very soon.
The Bobcat, said Meyer, will be used not only for netbook class devices, but also to equip x86-based "pads", which we can only presume reflects a fairly expectable attempt by AMD at riding the Ipad wave.
Facing off with Nvidia's mobile graphics architectures, AMD also announced plans for developing the software side of power management on mobile platforms, somewhat akin to Nivida's Optimus technology.
Good results from AMD, considering that Q1 is usually disappointing for everyone, that herald in some much-needed peace of mind for investors and a breather to help it face Intel's 32nm advance. µ
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