Advanced Micro Devices CEO Lisa Su said during her remarks on AMD’s first quarter earnings conference call with analysts today that she was confident about the state of competition with rivals like Intel and Nvidia in processors and graphics chips. She also pointed out that the company gained market share in processors for the 6th straight quarter.
AMD’s revenue was $1.27 billion for the first quarter, down 23% from the same quarter a year ago. But Su noted that Ryzen and Epyc processor and datacenter graphics processing units (GPUs) revenue more than doubled year-over-year, helping expand the gross margin by 5 percentage points.
If there was a lag in the quarter, it was due to softness in the graphics channel and lower semi-custom revenue (which includes game console chips).
Su said AMD’s unit shipments increased significantly and the company’s new products drove a higher client average selling price (ASP).
“As a result, we believe we gained unit market share for the sixth straight quarter,” Su said.
In the desktop channel, demand for AMD’s highest-end Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 CPUs was strong, Su said, adding that Ryzen mobile processor adoption continues to accelerate.
Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and other computer makers have launched more than a dozen new Ryzen mobile notebooks so far in 2019, helping AMD deliver its fifth straight quarter of year-over-year mobile processor growth.
Su said customers are on track to increase the number of Ryzen notebook models by more than 50% from 2018. The majority of those new systems are scheduled to launch in the second quarter ahead of the seasonally stronger second half of the year.
In graphics, revenue decreased year-over-year, driven largely by lower channel sales but partially offset by a significant increase in datacenter GPU sales.
Radeon Vega GPU shipments grew by a strong double-digit percentage, both year-over-year and sequentially, based on increased adoption across computer maker, gaming, and datacenter customers, Su said.
Apple introduced two new iMac systems featuring upgraded Radeon Pro Vega GPUs that deliver up to 80% faster graphics performance than the previous generation.
“We believe we made good progress improving channel inventory levels,” she said, regarding the pile of unsold graphics chips from previous quarters (related to the cryptocurrency bubble). “Sell-through accelerated sequentially, driven by sales of both our mainstream Radeon RX GPUs and new high-end Radeon VII gaming GPUs.”
Su said AMD’s first 7-nanometer Navi gaming GPUs will debut in the third quarter. She also mentioned that cloud leader Amazon rolled out AMD-based offerings to additional regions and launched three new Epyc processor-powered EC2 instance families, including the first T3-series instances.
AMD is on track to begin production shipments of Rome (the latest Epyc datacenter processors) in the second quarter to support a third-quarter launch. Over time, as AMD fully rolls out its Epyc lineup, Su believes the company can hit double-digit market share.
The third-generation Ryzen desktop processors will ship later this year, with second-generation mobile Ryzen chips shipping as well. Those launches will help make the PC business a big driver for AMD, Su said.
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