The news coming from Sunnyvale, California, hasn't been good lately, as Advanced Micro Devices has been revealing worrisome developments one after another. The number of CPUs shipped between the months of July and September is just the latest.
Normally, 15.4 million, as reported by 3DCenter, is a high number. Thus, learning that AMD shipped this many chips in the third quarter would be a reason for celebration.
Sadly, the number is much lower than the shipment levels in the second quarter (17.3 million), even counting the fact that Q3 is one of the slower seasons of any year.
Essentially, AMD shipped 11.4% fewer processors than during the previous three-month period, with Trinity chips exhibiting the only positive evolution.
Llano sales fell 57%, replaced by Trinity that grew 60%. Bobcat chips declined as well (16%). Overall, AMD's mobile processor sales fell from 8.4 to 7.7 million (7.7% down).
On the desktop front, Trinity sales grew by 462% and Bulldozer units climbed 115.6%. Bobcat managed to squeeze a 9.6% improvement too.
Unfortunately, K10 shipments slid (18.4%), as did Llano (82.2%). Due to the different sizes of the markets served by each chip, the overall decrease in shipments was of 14.8% (from 8.7 to 7.4 million). Meanwhile, the server CPU market, as small as it was, suffered a 16.7% drop.
No matter how one looks at the picture, it is hard to consider this just another hiccup. AMD obviously agrees with this, if its layoff plans (1,700 in three months) are anything to go by. Unfortunately, recently, AMD has also been revealed to be planning further job cuts for 2013.
Analysts and market watchers are already questioning these measures, just like they are wondering about what, exactly, made Intel's CEO suddenly decide to retire.
At this point, AMD is depending heavily not on its CPU expertise, but on that of graphics technologies.
AMD Sold 11.4% Fewer CPUs in Q3 2012 Than in Q2, 15.4 Million
One can only wonder whether layoffs will be enough to offset this situation
... so hot right now