AMD has reported better than expected fourth quarter revenues of $1.48 billion following the successful launch of its Ryzen microprocessors and the popularity of graphics cards bearing AMD GPUs for cryptocurrency mining.
The company's surging revenues - up by one-third - were also attributed to the popularity of the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X, while the company's new Ryzen processors have made AMD genuinely competitive against Intel for the first time in a decade.
"Looking at our Computing and Graphics segment in the quarter, we delivered very strong Q4 results as we continued the ramp of our Ryzen CPU, Radeon Vega GPU products.
"[AMD's] Computing and Graphics segment revenue increased 60 per cent and we significantly improved operating income from a year ago," said AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su in an earnings call transcribed by SeekingAlpha.
"We expanded our Ryzen CPU family further into the consumer market with the introduction of the AMD Ryzen mobile processor with Radeon Vega graphics, combining the power of our Zen CPU and Vega GPU architectures into the fastest processor in the industry for ultrathin notebooks."
Revenues from these devices, though, were launched late in the year and won't have found their way onto the company's bottom line in any meaningful volume. They should, though, contribute to the company's revenues throughout 2018.
AMD has benefited from being the GPU supplier of choice for cryptocurrency miners, whose thirst for powerful graphics cards (what used to be called maths co-processors many years ago) has caused both a shortage of graphics cards for ordinary PC buyers, as well as a spike in the prices of those that do make it to the warehouses of Novatech, eBuyer, Scan et al.
"We saw strong demand for our Polaris products across both the gaming and blockchain markets. And Radeon Vega GPU revenue more than doubled from the prior quarter, driven by strong gaming demand in [the] add-in-board channel, as well as strength with strategic OEMs," said Su.
However, it remains to be seen what damage the ghost of the Spectre CPU security flaws will cause to demand for new PCs and upgrade CPUs this year.
Su reiterated AMD's line that it doesn't believe that Spectre flaws pose much of a real threat to its processors, but she asserted that the flaw would neverless be completely expunged from AMD's Zen 2 architecture, which will be appearing in 7nm Ryzen CPUs early next year.
For the full year, AMD re-cracked the $5 billion barrier, posting revenues up 24.8 per cent to $5.33 billion, compared to $4.27 billion in 2016 - an extra $1.06 billion in revenues notched up during the year.
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