Fusion Leads AMD To Q1 Revenue, Profit Gains

AMD on Thursday reported first quarter 2011 earnings, which included increases in both revenue and profit driven by sales of its initial Fusion integrated graphics processors.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD said its first quarter revenue was $1.61 billion, up from $1.57 billion, or 2 percent, from the same quarter last year. AMD’s net income for the quarter nearly doubled to $510 million, compared to $257 million in firstquarter 2011.

AMD’s profitable first quarter results are due in part to the launch of its Fusion APU platform, according to CFO and interim CEO Thomas Seifert who, in a conference call on Thursday, said AMD’s Llano Fusion APU is the most impressive processor in AMD’s history.

’First quarter operating results were highlighted by strong demand for our first generation of AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Units,’ Thomas Seifert, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement. ’APU unit shipments greatly exceeded our expectations, and we are excited to build on that momentum now that we are shipping our 'Llano' APU.’

Sponsored post

In addition, Seifert said about half of AMD’s notebook products that shipped in the first quarter were Brazos processors, the low-power APU platform that includes both Ontario and Zacate integrated graphics processors. He also said AMD has begun shipping Llano, and that the 32-nm mainstream notebook and desktop platform delivers a better end user experience than any other chip currently on the market.

Beyond its performance and features, Seifert said, Fusion is also a key part of the company’s profitability strategy.

AMD in November began shipping its first Fusion processors, which -- like Intel’s Sandy Bridge and Nvidia’s Tegra 2 -- combine CPU and GPU technology on a single die along with a memory controller. AMD said at the time that its APU strategy underscores the increasing relevance of graphics capability in compute platforms. In its Q1 earnings report, AMD said its graphics segment was flat in relative to Q1’10.

Seifert said AMD continues to lead in discrete graphics, citing Apple’s adoption in February of AMD Radeon graphics cards in its refreshed Macbook line. ’The world’s best PCs have AMD Radeon graphics support,’ Seifert said.

Rival Nvidia previously had its GeForce discrete graphics in the 13-inch version, but Apple has replaced Nvidia's GPUs with Intel's integrated graphics with 384 MB of shared memory.

Next: The CEO Search

AMD also said its Q1 earnings report was the first to account for the separation of Globalfoundries, which used to be AMD’s manufacturing division until it was spun-off in 2009. AMD last month amended its Wafer Supply Agreement with Globalfoundries in order to bolster its 32-nm products. AMD in November began shipping its first Fusion processors

Finally, Seifert briefly mentioned the company’s ongoing search for a CEO to replace Dirk Meyer, who in January resigned unexpectedly from his position as chief executive at AMD.

’The board is very happy with the interest we’ve received and is actively interviewing candidates,’ he said. ’We are pleased with the progress that’s been made.’