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Another Massive Display as AMD hails 'outstanding' 2021, teases Genoa and Bergamo chips

Semiconductor giant sees growth across the board

AMD has hailed 2021 as an "outstanding" year with each of its business units growing significantly, thanks to strong sales of its Epyc server chips and data centre GPUs. The firm is hoping to continue this with its Genoa chips this year and Bergamo in 2023.

In a conference call to disclose AMD's Q4 and year-end financial results, president and CEO Lisa Su said the firm had exceeded its growth goals and delivered a record year. In particular, she claimed that data centre revenue had more than doubled year-on-year.

In servers, Su said revenue had more than doubled year-over-year and increased by a double-digit percentage sequentially, driven by demand across both cloud and enterprise customers. She also picked out data centre graphics revenue as more than doubling year-on-year, driven by HPC wins for AMD's latest Instinct MI200 accelerators, with platforms coming this quarter from Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Supermicro, and others.

"We're still cloud-weighted relative to enterprise. But enterprise has made a really nice progress. It's a sizable business, and we've made progress with the larger OEMs as well as across a number of regional OEMs," Su said.

AMD's computing and graphics segment's revenues, meanwhile, were up 32 per cent growth to $2.584bn. Su said this was driven by sales of Ryzen processors and Radeon graphics processors. She also noted the "industry has seen some price increases across the supply chain."

When questioned about the company's own pricing strategies by an analyst, Su said that "without a doubt, the predominant growth is products. So it's units and average selling prices from the mix of the product, and that's the predominant growth."

Although data centre is not broken out into a specific business unit at AMD, Su claimed that revenue for data centre products constituted "a mid-20 percentage of overall revenue" for 2021, and indicated that the firm expected 2022 to be another year of growth based on signals it was getting from customers for current and next-generation products.

"Demand for our product is very strong, and we look forward to another year of significant growth and share gains as we ramp our current products and launch our next wave of Zen 4 CPUs and RDNA 3 GPUs. We have also made significant investments to secure the capacity needed to support our growth in 2022 and beyond," the CEO said.

Further to the supply chain issues, Su said that AMD has made significant investments in wafer capacity as well as substrate capacity, adding: "We feel very good about our progress in the supply chain to meet the 2022 guidance." Looking ahead, Su said that AMD is already sampling its Genoa Epyc processors to customers now and is on track to launch later this year, while shipments of the Bergamo chips are planned to follow in the first half of 2023.

Genoa is set to feature up to 96 Zen 4 cores and next-generation memory and I/O technologies, according to AMD, while Bergamo features a version of the Zen 4 core called Zen 4c that has been specifically optimised for cloud-native computing.

"Bergamo is a high core power-efficient CPU that can be used in the same platforms as Genoa. It will feature up to 128 CPU cores and deliver significant performance and power efficiency advantages for cloud workloads," Su claimed.

AMD also recently got clearance from the Chinese regulatory authorities for its planned takeover of FPGA maker Xilinx. Su said that she was "extremely excited about Xilinx" and the combination of AMD and Xilinx technology, saying that the firm has been planning for the integration and has had interest from customers anxious to talk about combined road maps.

Su hinted that there was an opportunity for edge deployments in communications and 5G networks, saying: "As we bring Xilinx into the equation, they have very deep relationships with a number of these accounts. And so we see that as an incremental positive as we think about EPYC in communications."

FPGAs have been finding new uses in the data centre over recent years, as accelerators for AI processing or as part of SmartNICs, and rival Intel has even offered Xeon chips combined with an FPGA for select customers.

For the longer term, Su expressed confidence in AMD's future, based on its roadmap and the commitments it has from customers.

"We are confident in our ability to continue growing significantly faster than the market, based on our expanded roadmap investments and the deep relationships we have established with a broad set of customers who view AMD as a strategic enabler of their success," she said. ®

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