Mobile PC Market Drives Strong AMD Q2 Financials

AMD reported significant second quarter revenue growth and a much lower loss than last year thanks to robust mobile PC chip sales which more than made up for what the company called a disappointing OEM uptake of its server processors in the quarter.

However, a return to normal server OEM demand and a growing share of the portable PC market will help the company see normal seasonal increase in revenue for the third quarter, company executives said on Thursday.

AMD reported revenue for its second quarter of 2010 of $1.65 billion, up a healthy 40 percent over the $1.2 billion the company reported in the second quarter of 2009.

The company also reported a loss $43 million, or 6 cents per share, in the second quarter, a significant improvement compared to the loss of $330 million, or 49 cents per share, it reported a year ago.

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The second quarter 2010 loss stemmed in large part to losses related to AMD's investment in Global Foundries.

"We are pleased with our overall performance in the quarter," said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and CEO, during the company's Thursday financial conference call.

AMD's computing solutions business, which includes its microprocessor and chipset sales, reported a 31 percent growth in revenue over the second quarter of 2009 driven by what AMD called a record number of notebook processor and chipset unit shipments.

However, Meyer said, AMD was very "under-represented" in the high-end server business, with second-quarter market share sitting at a historic low thanks to slow OEM uptake of its processors.

However, he said, this is changing as OEM server vendors move to the company's new Opteron 6000 series of 12-core processors, code named Magny-Cours.

AMD's server processor business saw its average selling price, unit sales, and revenue all drop thanks to slow adoption by OEMs, Meyer said. "Intel clearly knocked the ball out of the park," he said.

Next: Strong PC Business Helps Overcome Server Doldrums For AMD

The PC business was very strong for AMD in the second quarter, especially in the notebook PC part of that business, Meyer said. AMD had originally expected PC unit growth to increase 10 to 15 percent during the quarter over last year, but instead witnessed a 15 to 20 percent growth.

AMD grew its share of the notebook PC chip business during the quarter, and should continue to do so going forward, Meyer said.

The company is counting on its new Fusion Accelerated Processing Units, which combine a microprocessor and a graphics processor into a single piece of silicon, to start driving mobile PC sales by year-end, Meyer said.

AMD plans to initially produce two versions of its Fusion APU. One version, code-named "Ontario," was designed for use in low-cost, low-power-consumption portable PCs such as netbooks and embedded systems. The other, "Llano," was designed for mainstream desktop and laptop PCs.

However, plans for the release of its Fusion APUs have changed.

AMD originally expected to release its "Llano" APU, based on 32-nanometer technology, by year-end, to be followed in 2011 by the "Ontario" APU, based on 40-nanometer technology.

However, Meyer said, the Ontario release will be moved up to the fourth quarter of 2010, while the Llano will be delayed until 2011 as AMD engineers overcome issues with its 32-nanometer technology.

AMD is not targeting the tablet PC market with its Ontario APU, and the company does not believe the netbook or notebook PC market will be cannibalized by tablet PC sales, Meyer said in response to a question from an analyst.

The tablet PC market is still in its relative infancy, Meyer said. "There's only one supplier out there, and that's Apple. . . . We believe that the tablet PC is more of (an overall) market expansion," he said.