AMD is firing on all cylinders these days: it’s the guts of every modern PlayStation and Xbox, it has the desktop CPUs to beat, it’s nearly caught up to Nvidia in GPU performance (if not availability), and it’s about to challenge Intel in laptops as well — with its Ryzen 5000 mobile CPUs and RDNA 2 GPUs due later this year.
All of that can translate to eye-popping dollar signs: the chipmaker just announced its Q4 and full-year 2020 earnings, and it’s adding billions of dollars wherever you look:
- $3.2 billion in revenue this quarter, up 53 percent from $2.1 billion last quarter
- $1.78 billion in profit this quarter, up 948 percent from $170 million last quarter*
- $9.76 billion in revenue this past year, up 45 percent from $6.7 billion in 2019
- $2.49 billion in profit this past year, up 630 percent from $341 million in 2019*
*Those profits include “a fourth quarter income tax benefit of $1.30 billion associated with a valuation allowance release,” according to the company.
AMD says it’s a new revenue record for the company, despite previously saying it expected weakened demand in the second half of the year due to the pandemic.
The big dollar signs don’t all represent consumer-grade chips, of course, as the company has its fingers in many silicon pies, but more than half of its quarterly revenue came from its Computing and Graphics segment, which was “up 18 percent year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter primarily driven by strong sales of Ryzen processors.”
If you were hoping today’s earnings call might give you an idea when the company’s desktop CPUs and GPUs might become less hard to find, I’m sorry to say there was no new guidance there.
And while AMD CEO Lisa Su did claim that the new Radeon 6000 cards had “launch quarter shipments three times larger than any prior AMD gaming GPU priced above $549,” that’s not much of a claim. The company’s Vega cards were also insanely hard to find, and to our knowledge AMD never previously sold a single gaming GPU above $550. The Radeon HD 7970 launched at $549, excluding it from AMD’s claim, and though the 6990 and 7990 cost $700 and $1,000 respectively, they were niche cards that had two GPUs each.
Update, 6:27PM ET: Added AMD’s awkward claim that the Radeon 6000 cards shipped in higher volumes than the company’s previous extremely low-volume GPUs.