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Advanced Micro Devices CEO Lisa Su said in a first-quarter earnings conference call that Ryzen processors now account for 60 percent of the company’s client processor revenues, compared to the low 40s in the fourth quarter.
The Sunnyvale, California chip maker reported strong earnings today for the first quarter ended March 31. AMD was expected to earn an adjusted 9 cents a share for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of 4 cents a share a year earlier. Revenues were expected to be $1.57 billion, up from $1.18 billion a year earlier. Actual results came in at 11 cents a share in net income on revenues of $1.65 billion.
Last week, AMD launched its second-generation Ryzen desktop chips. Zen-based architecture can process 52 percent more instructions per clock than the previous generation. AMD rolled out its faster Zen-based Ryzen chips a year ago, and now the Zen technology is spreading through the whole product line.
“Our strong first quarter financial results demonstrate that our long-term strategy is paying off,” Su said in the call.
Since the PC market isn’t growing at 40 percent, and since rival Intel also isn’t growing that fast, it’s logical to conclude that AMD’s latest processors are grabbing market share. That trend was evident in the previous quarter. With the launch of its Zen-based processors in 2017, Advanced Micro Devices saw a rare gain in market share — from 8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 12 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 — against its archrival Intel, according to market researcher Mercury Research. Now AMD has launched a wider array of chips that attack Intel’s broader product line.
AMD also launched its Epyc Zen-based server chips last summer, and in February it launched Ryzen mobile accelerated processing units, which combine a processor and graphics on a single chip. “We are executing consistently on our product roadmap, our customers are increasingly adopting our new products, and we are strengthening the foundation of AMD with the right long-term investments.”
Su said she expects 60 new Ryzen products to launch in 2018. Those products will be targeted at gamers, content creators, and other hardware enthusiasts. AMD’s graphics chip business also grew from a year ago in both unit shipments and average selling prices. Demand for Radeon Vega and 500 series were driven by both gaming and blockchain mining demand.
“Gaming is a top priority for us,” Su said.
“I do think the blockchain infrastructure is here to stay,” Su added. “We don’t see significant risk of second-hand GPUs coming into the market. There are a lot of different currencies, and there are a lot of different uses.”
In the second quarter and the rest of the year, Su said AMD expects somewhat lower contribution from blockchain products. That will likely be mid-to-high single-digit percentages for revenue in 2018.
The stock prices for AMD and rival graphics chip maker Nvidia often ride on the fortunes of cryptocurrency, as graphics chips are used to mine for the blockchain-based currencies.
AMD said that enterprise, embedded, and semi-custom revenue (which includes game console chips) declined 12 percent to $532 million. That decline was partially offset by growth of Epyc server processor revenue. Su said there are 40 Epyc-based systems in the market now, with more coming. AMD is launching Ryzen Pro chips for commercial notebooks in the second quarter.
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