AMD posts another quarterly loss, pulls Istanbul launch forward

Despite its competitive Phenom II processors and Radeon HD 4000-series GPUs, AMD failed to turn a profit yet again last quarter. The company has posted Q1 revenue of $1.177 billion with a net loss of $416 million—a step down from a year ago, but a sequential improvement over its fourth-quarter results.

For the record, AMD posted $1.505 billion in revenue and $358 million net losses in Q1 2008, and things soured further in Q4 2008 as it recorded a $1.437 billion net loss on $1.162 billion in revenue. While still dire, the company's situation may thus have improved somewhat last quarter. CEO Dirk Meyer even states in the press release, "AMD's sequential microprocessor unit and revenue growth in difficult economic conditions demonstrate we can grow in an environment where customers are looking for maximum value."

Wait a second, though—didn't AMD finish spinning off its foundry business last month? Doesn't that mean these results are worse than they look? Well, no. AMD is consolidating its results with those of GlobalFoundries "for financial reporting purposes." Without taking GlobalFoundries into account, AMD's adjusted non-GAAP net loss last quarter was a smaller $189 million.

The guys at PC Perspective happened to call in to AMD's financial results conference, and they learned one last interesting tidbit: AMD has pulled forward the launch of its Istanbul Opterons to June. These CPUs, which were previously scheduled for the latter part of this year, will include six 45nm processor cores and fit within the same thermal envelopes as existing quad-core Opterons. The revised schedule makes sense in light of how fast Intel's new Nehalem-based Xeons have turned out to be.

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