As Q1 earnings season continues to roll along, on deck today is AMD, who is getting the privilege of reporting some very positive earnings for the first three months of 2021. Firing on all cylinders – CPU, GPU, and semi-custom – AMD’s numerous product launches over the last several months are now paying major dividends for the company, as everything AMD is in high demand. And indeed, AMD is the poster child for the current chip crunch, as the company is making everything it can and even after selling over 3.4 billion dollars’ worth of chips in Q1, it’s still not enough.

For the first quarter of 2021, AMD reported $3.45B in revenue, making for another staggering jump over a year-ago quarter for AMD, when the company made just $1.79B in what was their best first quarter in a decade. For 2021 it’s now all about setting (and beating) records for the company, as evidenced by the 93% leap in year-over-year revenue.

AMD’s big run-up in revenue is also reflected in the company’s other metrics; along with that revenue AMD’s net income has grown by 243% year-over-year, now reaching $555M. And if not for an unusual, one-off tax benefit for AMD last quarter, Q1’21 would be AMD’s most profitable quarter ever – and indeed is on a non-GAAP basis. Meanwhile AMD’s gross margin is holding at 46%, steady versus Q4 and up one percentage point versus the year-ago quarter.

AMD Q1 2021 Financial Results (GAAP)
  Q1'2021 Q1'2020 Q4'2020 Y/Y Q/Q
Revenue $3.45B $1.79B $3.2B +93% +6%
Gross Margin 46% 46% 45% Flat +1pp
Operating Income $662M $177M $570M +274% +16%
Net Income $555M $162M $1781M* +243% -69%
Earnings Per Share $0.45 $0.14 $1.45 +221% -69%

One more the flag bearer for AMD is their Computing and Graphics segment, which encompasses their desktop and notebook CPU sales, as well as their GPU sales. That division booked $2.1B in revenue for the quarter, $662M (46%) more than Q1 2020. Accordingly, the segment’s operating income is (once more) up significantly as well, going from $262M a year ago to $485M this year.

As always, AMD doesn’t provide a detailed breakout of information from this segment, but they have provided some selective information on revenue and average selling prices (ASPs). Overall, client CPU sales were quite strong; according to AMD Ryzen processor sales are up overall, as are ASPs, on both a quarterly and yearly basis. The big wins appear to be coming from premium devices such as ultra-thin laptops and gaming devices, especially as notebook revenue is up once again, setting a sixth consecutive record for AMD. On which note, according to AMD their Ryzen 5000 mobile (Cezanne) revenue has ramped up twice as fast as the mobile 4000 series (Renoir), underscoring AMD’s continuing push into mobile.

Meanwhile the company is reporting similarly good news from their GPU business. Sales and ASPs are up due to the launch and ongoing sales of various Radeon RX 6000 products. Overall, AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 revenue has more than doubled versus Q4, as the company scrambles to make as many GPUs as it can in a very GPU-starved market.

AMD Q1 2021 Reporting Segments
  Q1'2021 Q1'2020 Q4'2020
Computing and Graphics
Revenue $2100M $1438M $1960M
Operating Income $485M $262M $420M
Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom
Revenue $1345M $348M $1284M
Operating Income $277M -$26M $243M

Meanwhile AMD’s Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom segment has seen an explosion of growth of its own over the past year, thanks to the launch of AMD’s third-gen EPYC (Milan) processors, as well as the 9th generation consoles. This segment of the company booked $1.35B in revenue, $997M (286%) more than what they pulled in for Q1’20. It’s such a strong performance that it’s even up on a quarterly basis, more than offsetting the usual seasonal decline in semi-custom sales that occurs in Q1.

The big jump in revenue also means that the segment is well into the black on an operating income basis, a major improvement over Q1’20 where AMD lost money on the segment. $277M on $1345M in revenue is not quite as strong as what AMD’s computing segment pulls off, but this is a long-standing artifact of bundling AMD’s low-margin semi-custom business with its high-margin (and ever increasing) enterprise CPU business.

Overall, semi-custom sales were down slightly for Q1’21 versus Q4’20 (“by a single digit percentage”), which was more than offset by increased EPYC processor sales, thanks to the launch of AMD’s third-generation (Milan) EPYC processors. On the latter, AMD had another record quarter, as EPYC processor sales have more than doubled on a year-over-year basis and a “double-digit percentage” on a quarterly basis.

On a side note, if there’s any single metric in AMD’s latest earnings announcement that underscores just how much things have turned around for a company that nearly went bankrupt half a decade ago, it’s the company’s cash balance: AMD is sitting on $3.1B in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. Conversely, long-term debt is down to $313M. At this point AMD is in a stronger financial position than they ever have been before.

Looking forward, AMD’s expectations for the quarter and for the rest of the year are as equally lofty as the preceding quarters. Demand for AMD chips still outpaces supply in most segments thanks to the ongoing chip crunch and substrate supply issues, so AMD has yet to fully tap the current market, let alone prepare for any further growth in product demand. Consequently, AMD is projecting some very rosy figures for Q2’21 and for the full year. The company expects to book $3.6B (+/- $100M) in revenue for Q2, which if it comes to pass will be an 86% jump over Q2’20. Meanwhile AMD has revised their full year 2021 projections, and are now expecting total revenue to increase by 50% versus their $9.8B FY2020.

As for AMD’s product lineup, while the company is now decidedly early-to-mid cycle on its CPU products, today’s earnings release does have some interesting GPU news. First up, AMD is still in the middle of launching its complete Navi 2x stack of GPUs and associated video cards. Along with continuing that launch on the desktop, the first mobile Radeon RX 6000 products are slated to launch later this quarter. And in the HPC space, AMD is expecting to ramp their next-generation Radeon Instinct products in the second half of the year, which will be going into the forthcoming Frontier supercomputer, among other projects.

Source: AMD

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  • blppt - Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - link

    I haven't had a single issue with my x570 board---and its not a high-end one either, just a cheapo ASUS Tuf model.

    The only issue I had was that I simply couldn't reach 1800/3600, but that ended up being a limitation of the IF prior to Zen 3. As soon as I replaced the 3900X with a 5950X, it was fine at 1800/3600.
  • Cooe - Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - link

    You're making a mountain out of a molehill... -_- ... The USB issues were quickly identified & fixed, and that kind of stuff ALWAYS happens with new CPU releases (it only affected Ryzen 5000), both AMD AND Intel. By and large, X570 works great and is a WAY more powerful and flexible platform than Intel's.
  • Silver5urfer - Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - link

    No not fixed, stop saying it's not an issue, here's an AMD official r/AMD thread I give you and see latest posts for people on, you can simply search usb as well, there's OCN threads of mobos and etc where some people still report issues.

    Just because you do not have this BS problem doesn't mean it's not an issue, "it's quickly identified and fixed" what the fuck ? No they took a long time and people at r/AMD were bashing the folks who reported the issues, you want to talk more ? WHEA BSOD problems and RMAing CPUs also happened with Ryzen 5000 series platform. This RMA bs didn't happen with Ryzen 3000 series.

    Then the issue root cause was not even mentioned they simply said it's going to fix and no it didn't and does not. It's random and no pattern makes it even worse.

    "AND Intel" massive bs claim you are making it, Intel Z490 / Z390 and / Z590 or even Z270 didn't have USB crap out issues hell I don't even see them on Ivy and Haswell or the 6th to 8th gen. Bonus is didn't see people doing RMA for CPUs because of WHEA BSOD.

    I know Intel Rocketlake is a bust since backport only helped Intel not consumers due to 2C4T loss and insanely High power consumption. The only advantage it has over CML is PCIe 4 which is not useful as of today, but in the future it might. It's not wayyy more powerful as you make it BUT it's wayyy more efficient. 10C20C CML processor is still very fast in gaming and emulation performance, and best part is it's cheap esp 10850K, since 5900X is only viable processor that can beat 10900K but it's not in stock and expensive. 5950X doesn't scale so great in gaming and it's even more expensive and no stock either. AND the RMA for these dual CCD processors are higher than Single CCD 5800X and 5600X (which is overpriced and not in stock). Now that is probably fixed by new batch of CPUs in circulation.
  • Smell This - Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - link

    Y - A - W - N
  • mode_13h - Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - link

    > Intel Rocketlake is a bust since backport only helped Intel not consumers due to 2C4T loss

    Did it ever occur to you to fact-check this?

    10-core Comet Lake die size: 206.1 mm2

    8-core Rocket Lake die size: 276.0 mm2

    Why did you *think* they dropped 2 cores?
  • Silver5urfer - Thursday, April 29, 2021 - link

    I know that Die size on RKL is huge, it doesn't do anything except for heat dissipation. Then there's that useless iGPU on the die wasting that die space. They could have added eDRAM if they really wanted to push for gaming crown, they didn't do any of that. Probably because it's super short lived and last 14nm silicon since all Xeon is now on 10nm from IceLake.

    They dropped 2 cores not just because of die size but the heat output and power consumption as well, if they added those 2C4T the power guzzling would reach to 400W+ This whole RKL doesn't help anyone except Intel now they have a working product that has a backport done from 10nm design to 14nm and it works, which adds it to their experience.
  • Linustechtips12#6900xt - Thursday, April 29, 2021 - link

    the thing s that Igpu isnt useless its not that horrible fore troubleshooting and it can sorta play some games, its better than not having a gpu please sit down before idk something
  • mode_13h - Thursday, April 29, 2021 - link

    > there's that useless iGPU on the die wasting that die space.

    It's not a waste, especially when dGPUs are virtually unobtainable. However, a lot of market segments only use the iGPU. I have a web/office PC at home with no dGPU, and my corporate PC for my job also has no dGPU.

    > all Xeon is now on 10nm from IceLake.

    Only Xeon Scalable Series (i.e. the big server CPUs). E-series Xeon are rumored to be moving to Rocket Lake. W-series Xeons remain on Cascade Lake (at least the HEDT-cousins with 4-channel memory).

    Ice Lake and Rocket Lake are both stop-gap solutions, to be replaced after well under a year on the market. However, they do give us PCIe 4.0 support, which is at least advancing something. Rocket Lake's iGPU is also a meaningful step up from their previous Gen9 units, for those stuck using it.
  • Linustechtips12#6900xt - Thursday, April 29, 2021 - link

    that is not apropriate language young man
  • Cooe - Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - link

    Also, RAM tuning on Zen 3 is freaking idiot proof! It'll run at stupid high speeds & low timings with next to no voltage tweaking needed AT ALL. Where the hell are you reading all this crap?? O_o

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