AMD, a chipmaking underdog, is having its day

DAVID, HE OF the spat with Goliath, is an overused corporate analogy. But it is hard to think of a more appropriate one for Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). On October 29th the American chipmaking tiddler reported its third-quarter results. Lisa Su, its boss, declared herself “extremely pleased”. No wonder. At $1.8bn, revenue was the highest since 2005. AMD predicted that next quarter’s figures would be equally perky, up 48% on the previous year to $2.1bn. Its share price has risen 15-fold since 2015 (see chart).

AMD is more important to the chip business than its diminutive stature suggests. It provides the only meaningful competition to not one but two Goliaths in two important parts of the semiconductor industry. Its CPUs—the general-purpose chips at the heart of modern laptops, desktops and data centres—compete with those from Intel, whose $71bn of revenue in 2018 made it the world’s second-biggest chipmaker. Its GPUs—which provide 3D graphics for video games and, increasingly, the computational grunt for trendy machine-learning algorithms—go up against those from Nvidia, whose revenues last year of $11.7bn were nearly twice those of AMD.

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via Business Feeds

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