Despite issues with getting chips from both GlobalFoundries and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp last year, AMD was able to get a modest bump up in sales in the fourth quarter thanks in large part to its hybrid CPU-GPU chips for PCs, with sales up 2.5 per cent to $1.69bn. But a write-off of $208m relating to AMD's wafer …
Considering everything, not bad
With all the GloFo/TSMC and re-organization under new CEO Read, this is not a bad financial report. If GloFo/TSMC can sort their production and finally deliver the goods, AMD can ramp up even in a down economy which 2012 is certain to be.
They did make a BIG mistake
IMHO they did make one SERIOUS error in 2011 and that was killing the AM3 socket instead of consolidating it. Lets face it most users aren't even stressing dual cores much less triples, quads, and sextacores, so AMD could have kept AM3 while cutting it down to one or two Thuban chips which then could have had cores disabled to cover the lower markets and get close to 100% yields on wafers. There is a pretty big market in those that need more than the E series and Bulldozer frankly scores worse than Thuban pretty much across the board. there are also many that don't want an APU because they plan on adding their own discrete so that GPU would be just wasting cycles. Finally because AM3 was a mature socket boards for AM3 are dirt cheap while having plenty of features that appeal to the DIY crowd.
So while cranking up the E series was a smart move giving up the DIY and low midrange market by only having BD is a dumb move IMHO. At the current price difference when I can no longer get AM3 chips I'll be seriously looking at Intel because the higher price of BD and worse benchmarks make it not very competitive which is a shame because Thuban was a really nice chip and with Zosma they could have just sold the ones with bad cores as Phenom II Quads. dumb move AMD, dumb move.
Let me guess. It corresponds to the drop in Windows sales.
No it does not
The CPU division taken separately grew 7.2% on revenue and 81% on profit. Where exactly do you see the Windows drop in these numbers.
It was the discrete GPU, their share in the foundry portion, etc which tanked the results.
That is not surprising. Nvidia has a BIG lead now and it is growing. Both Intel and AMD thought that they can catch up by going hybrid. Instead of catching up that strategy opened a new front between them while allowing Nvidia to escape into the safety of the open (and uncontested) discrete GPU and CGPU market.
TSMC hurt AMD GPU sales
TSMC's inability to transition to 28nm on time hurt AMD and Nvidia discrete GPU sales badly. While Nvidia does seem to have a technical advantage the new AMD 7900 series is a good product. Nvidia is making most of their money with scientific specific GPU sales more than consumer graphics where AMD is as good or better until Kepler is launched.
28nm Brazos, where are you?
AMD describes Brazos as "the most successful platform in AMD's history". I know, I own three and they do excel in the "good enough segment". So why don't AMD have a 28nm Brazos shrink? The power saving would give netbooks and laptops a 10 hour battery life at a compelling price point that would blow away the Atom and probably dent Intel's core iSomething market share due to the price advantage. AMD, what are you doing?
Brazo was scheduled for 28nm but...
...GloFo fell way behind on their transition to 32m, so Brazo is doing extra duty for six months while AMD skips a generation. 17w Trinity APUs may fill the bill however.