AMD Sweeps Major Microsoft, Sony and Apple Product Launches with Processors and Graphics
Powering the Xbox One and PS4 isn't likely to earn AMD a huge uptick in profits immediately (Rory Read has forecast the entire embedded business as accounting for perhaps 20% of AMD's revenue in 2013), but it's a critical path to returning the company to profitability in the midterm. Long term, AMD's business could benefit from a halo effect. Game programmers working on next-generation titles are going t0 be working on AMD graphics cards and CPUs. Anchoring the first Mac Pro refresh in years gives the company a leg up into that business.
AMD's stock value has nearly doubled since late April, from a low near $2 up to about $4. That increase reflects the company's recent launches in desktop, server, and mobile products. With Kabini looking like a strong mobile part in tablets and laptops and AMD's first low-power servers ready to go up against ARM and Atom, the company is enjoying something of a resurgence. Then 5GHz CPU demo today is icing on the cake -- provided you like 220W icing, at any rate.
At this point, we're cautiously optimistic. AMD technology is baked into a number of products at this point, and in ways that could generate a great deal of revenue. At the same time, however, the company's fortunes are tied to just how much consumers want to buy either 1) Consoles or 2) x86 tablets. Neither one of these is a guaranteed win. x86 tablets continue to struggle at market for reasons that have as much to do with Microsoft as with AMD or Intel, Microsoft's Xbox One is on the ropes after a vicious beating from the PS4 yesterday, and consoles themselves are fighting to stay relevant in a sea of mobile gaming.
Despite these challenges, it's great to see AMD making a play for more products. Here's hoping the bets pay off.