back to article AMD's had a horrible 2016: Never mind, it lost slightly less than half a billion this time

Industry execs are paid to put on a brave face when outlining company financials, and AMD’s CEO Lisa Su kept up her end of the bargain last night when the broken business reported a net loss of $497m for 2016. This was progress of sorts: in the prior year ailing AMD filed losses of $660m. Despite the latest numbers, the stock …

  1. CJatCTi

    Just get some easy names

    Intel have:

    i3 for just Web folk

    i5 for people who run office

    i7 for people who need full power

    AMD have a series of numbers than mean nothing to "normal" folk

    1. andrewj

      Re: Just get some easy names

      You forgot the E's, W's, and X's which cause us to waste untold hours working out just which randomly named Xeon might or might not be the "best" choice. Or not. Or maybe.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just get some easy names

      That's just your familiarity with the products. The intel CPU and socket numbering mean absolutely nothing to me.

    3. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Just get some easy names

      'AMD have a series of numbers than mean nothing to "normal" folk'

      At the moment Intel has no less than:

      - 13 different Kaby Lake i7 processors;

      - 17 different i5s;

      - 11 different i3s;

      - 5 Pentiums

      - 3 Celerons

      - 2 Xeons

      - 1 Core m3

      The processors are divided into 5 different, easy to remember power usage categories: H,K,T,U, and Y. Throw in the mix 7 different kinds of weak 2D GPUs.

      Is AMD processor naming really more complex? I thought their numbering scheme is rather simple: bigger number means faster.

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: Just get some easy names

        Don't forget that Intel randomly disable features based on SKU, so an i7 may or may not have vPro active for example. They have gone out of their way to make it hard to identify the performance based on part number.

    4. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Just get some easy names

      Intel have:

      i3 for just Web folk

      i5 for people who run office

      i7 for people who need full power

      That's rather too simplistic ... and what about "Pentium" and Celeron and Atom?

      It's nice to know, though, that "i3" means two cores and Hyperthreading, "i5" means four cores, and "i7" means four cores and Hyperthreading ... except in the case of mobile processors which all have two cores and Hyperthreading ... except when they don't!

      I agree that AMD need some cuddly names -- what happened to "Sempron", "Athlon" and "Opteron" ... meaningless, but at least they kept it easy by only having three ... oh, and "Duron" and "Turion" and "Phenom" ... maybe it wasn't so simple after all?

      Maybe there are just too many CPU types?

      ARM, anyone?

      1. imanidiot Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Just get some easy names

        @dajames, yes, ARM, because then we know exactly what we get from the part number and it's not confusing at all...

      2. Troll_Slayer

        Re: Just get some easy names

        ARM = ThunderX (64bit server), with ThunderX2 coming on 14nm this year. And OpenPower will eat Intel's lunch on the high end. Intel is doomed.

  2. James 51 Silver badge

    Those 'simple' iX belie a host of complexity. How do you easily tell which generation a chip is? Mobile and desktop variant? Unlocked multiplier?

    The numbers are bound to be a little suppressed in the run up to a new chip launch. I’ve been holding off for about a year waiting for Zen.

    1. R 11

      Only a year? My motherboard is ten years old in March. The CPU has been upgraded at least three times and still it plods along.

    2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      which generation

      The number after the dash in the chip name gives you the generation.

      iX-7 = 7th gen

      iX-6 = 6th gen etc. etc.

  3. Cuddles Silver badge

    Not so bad

    If they "lost" $497m but paid off debts of nearly $800m, that actually sounds like a pretty successful year. Revenue is up, profit is up (or at least less negative), market share is up, and debts are down. It really doesn't sound like such a horrible 2016 at all.

    1. TVU Silver badge

      Re: Not so bad

      "If they "lost" $497m but paid off debts of nearly $800m, that actually sounds like a pretty successful year. Revenue is up, profit is up (or at least less negative), market share is up, and debts are down. It really doesn't sound like such a horrible 2016 at all."

      ^ This. Put aside the one-off write offs and look at the underlying trading situation. It's certainly not disastrous by any means although they do need to do better. I'd certainly want AMD to survive to serve as counterweight to Intel especially since the third competitor, Cyrix, has long gone.

    2. Wade Burchette

      Re: Not so bad

      This makes me happy. I love competition. It means lower prices and more innovation. I asked Alexa what that means and she responded with a happy face. Being a fanboy benefits the corporation, not you.

  4. disorder

    There's so many cards stacked against them, even if everything goes unrealistically right.

    With a little honest scepticism borne from that fact there's still not yet public comparison available, it would be fantastic for AMD to be back in the performance space. If we assume a hypothetical (and it does seem to be being taken as a given) that this will be true, AMD's problem is still that on empirical grounds I, at least won't actually feel directly compelled to upgrade from a haswell; and won't, for as long as possible.

    I'm not sufficiently 'ryzentful' to buy one just because I can bemuse myself it's socially responsible.

    They'll have to create the space for that, because intel sure haven't been. It doesn't mean they can't; but I have to wonder if even 50% per core faster* would even be a game changer for those not calculating their FLOPS per rack; the market has changed since 5-10yr ago (draw your own line) when they were last a contender.

    It's the latter that seems to me like their best hope of an end customer. With mobile everything on the business end, any performance desktop part - like my melted 21264 - seems almost boutique. How much can AMD make from this? And from consumers?

    I'm sure the tier 1's OEM's will still just cram them in dog-food grade product, and that's their other access to real volume. And I'd not be surprised if intel schedule a release the day after/before and upstage them.

    But keeping those happy thoughts.

    *I'd be impressed if 5% * 8 cores, but again, that doesn't buy /me/ a lot more frames a second.

    1. Steve Todd

      Don't forget

      That the top-end Ryzen is 8 cores, 16 threads. This is competing against i7s with 4 cores/ 8 threads. Depending on your workload you should be able to get a fair bit more than 50% extra performance out of one.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      More cores is nice, but I rarely need more than a couple (although I'm sure having four rather than two makes everything a bit smoother). Most of my home use is gaming, so single thread performance is important. Mind you, it looks like AMD won't be including GPUs in their higher end chips, where as Intel are still stuffing GPUs into i5 chips, that's a whole hunk of silicon I don't need and would rather not have had to pay for.

  5. DropBear Silver badge
    Trollface

    A-M-D! A-M-D! A-M-D! (to be chanted fanatically in a similar manner to another well-known three-letter chant...)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A-M-D! A-M-D! A-M-D! (to be chanted fanatically in a similar manner to another well-known three-letter chant...)

      Would that be "P-T-N! P-T-N!"?

  6. Ashley_Pomeroy

    "the stock market price barely moved"

    As of 18:11 GMT shares in AMD are up by 15.81%, which is very good indeed. If you had bought shares in AMD at the beginning of last November you would have doubled your money.

  7. Zmodem

    there is still time to buy £4000 of shares

    https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/quote/AMD?ltr=1

    currently $12.12, they spike to $60 - > $90 everytime AMD releases a new product, and those products are ryzen and vega at the end of the month, you would make a sweet and easy $22,000+ profit

    all the more better then ryzen and out do a i7 and the vega can out do the nividia 1080, then you have vega and cuda code convertor to use stream processor for floating point math with low level api's and all the other new arch for parallel computing

    1. Ashley_Pomeroy

      No, that's a fantasy version of share dealing. After some extraordinary growth AMD's shares have only just climbed back to their level of ten years ago - literally ten years ago - and that seems to be based on wishful thinking rather than a genuine turnaround. The company still doesn't pay a dividend. Their shares won't be spiking to $60 any time soon.

      1. Zmodem

        you can scroll through the past back to 2000 on https://www.google.co.uk/finance?q=NASDAQ:AMD

        shares can spike upto $90 whenever the release a new product

  8. Nolveys Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Non-GAAP

    Every time I hear that term I think "Generally Unacceptable Accounting Practices".

  9. ckdizz

    I'm buying the shit out of Ryzen when it lands. Actual 8 cores rather than this bullshit lite hyperthreading or AMD's previous hash up? Sounds like a good idea to me.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      I might wait for the reviews

  10. Troll_Slayer

    you can't stop AMD

    Ha, nice try. AMD added cash in 2016 and their stock went from $2.87 from Jan1 to $11.34 on Dec30.

    Intel, that fat, cheating pig is finally about to get what it deserves. Karma and Zen.

    Long live AMD !!!!

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