AMD’s Q4 2021 earnings have been tallied up, and the result is exactly what you’d expect from a company that is selling every single piece of hardware it makes, often at increased prices due to the various shortages roiling the industry. AMD not only had a record breaking fourth quarter, but a record breaking year too, with its revenue increasing an astonishing 68 percent year-over-year.
The company released its financial results ahead of its scheduled earnings call, which was transcribed by SeekingAlpha. On the call, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su had an upbeat message to deliver. “2021 was an outstanding year for AMD, as we exceeded our aggressive growth goals and delivered another record year. Each of our businesses grew significantly and set new annual revenue record, highlighted by data center revenue more than doubling year-over-year,” Said Dr Su. The earnings call and associated slides covered both Q4 2021 and the year as a whole, and they painted a picture of a company firing on all cylinders.
Dr. Su broke her discussion down into the company’s various business verticals, starting with its Computing and Graphics segment, which includes its Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs. She noted this division increased its revenue by 32 percent year-over-year, bringing in $2.6 billion in the final quarter of 2021. What’s interesting is she said this strong growth was fueled by CPUs for notebooks, which is unexpected since that market has always been dominated by Intel. However, it’s clearly an important battle ground for both companies, and as we reported yesterday AMD might have a tough time acquiring design wins in the face of competition from Intel’s new Alder Lake mobile chips.
On the GPU side of things, Su boasted that its Radeon group revenue has more than doubled year-over-year for the third straight quarter, as demand for its 6000 series GPUs shows no signs of letting up any time soon, despite the rocky launch of the RX 6500 XT. Dr. Su noted that in this quarter the company will be pushing its 6000 series mobile chips as well as its V-cache enabled Ryzen 7 5800X3D CPU, with its Zen 4 chips coming in the second half of 2022.
The most stunning news from the earnings call was that AMD’s Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom segment saw its year-over-year revenue grow by a massive 75 percent. Dr. Su said this record growth is due to the adoption of its Epyc CPUs for servers and it’s SoC business providing chips for both Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen gaming consoles.
Looking ahead, 2022 will be a pivotal year for the industry, as AMD is facing threats from all sides. Intel is not only heavily competitive with Ryzen right now thanks to Alder Lake, but the company will also be entering the discrete GPU space, finally, so it’ll be competing with AMD in two markets simultaneously. Though there won’t be much happening in the first half of the year, the second half will be a barn burner on both the CPU and GPU side of things, with AMD delivering new RDNA 3 GPUs built on TSMC’s 5nm process alongside its highly anticipated Zen 4 platform on a new AM5 LGA socket.
At the same time, Nvidia will be launching its Ada Lovelace GPUs, which are rumored to be almost twice as powerful as Ampere, and Intel will be following up Alder Lake with its Raptor Lake CPUs. It’ll be interesting to see how these battles unfold, but AMD is unquestionably in the strongest position it has ever been in currently, despite being a much smaller company than both Nvidia and Intel. Though the ongoing chip and substrate shortage are likely still affecting the company, on the earnings call Dr. Su was confident about the road ahead. “Turning to 2022. Demand for our product is very strong, and we look forward to another year of significant growth and share gains…” Addressing the shortages directly, she noted, “We have also made significant investments to secure the capacity needed to support our growth in 2022 and beyond.”
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