Mass firings are underway at AMD, report says

AMD appears to be slowly picking itself up this year. B3 Phenoms and Opterons are almost out, 45nm chips are on track to ship in the second half of the year, current Radeon HD 3800 graphics cards offer good value, AMD claims to have gotten more design wins than Nvidia with its upcoming mobile GPU, and a next-gen RV770 desktop GPU is rumored to be on track for the second quarter.

That said, several consecutive quarters of heavy financial losses are tough to contain, and AMD's recovery may not be quite quick enough. The Inquirer reports that the company is silently cutting a significant portion of its work force. The firings will reportedly hit five percent of the chipmaker's staff, and they'll apply "across the board"—not to a particular group or division.

Worse yet, The Inq says the cause for the layoffs is that AMD will "badly miss numbers" this quarter. "With the earnings in free fall, expect a press conference in a day or two to explain the problem, and how they are dealing with it via the axe," The Inq adds. AMD nearly broke even operationally in the fourth quarter, but if this report is accurate, the traditionally less-fruitful first quarter might have taken its toll on the firm.

Update: As several TR readers have pointed out, AMD has responded to this report in statements to a number of news sites. says the company denied that any cuts have taken place but also refused to comment on whether cuts would happen in the near future.

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