by Anton Shilov
01/22/2013 | 11:45 PM
Advanced Micro Devices said on Tuesday that it would refresh its AMD Radeon HD family of graphics processors in the first half of the year as well as launch new “Never Settle” free video game bundles program in the first quarter of 2013. Both initiatives are designed to revive sales of AMD’s graphics cards that dropped substantially in the fourth quarter of 2012.
“We are introducing strong new APU and graphics offerings in the first half of 2013 that will accelerate our AMD business with the ultimate goal of returning AMD to profitability and positive free cash flow in the second half of this year,” said Rory Read, chief executive officer of AMD, during a conference call with financial analysts.
AMD’s graphics solutions business showed mixed results in Q4 2012. Graphics segment revenue was $326 million, down 5% sequentially and 15% year-over-year, mainly due to a decline in GPU unit volume shipments, partially offset by a seasonal increase in game console revenue and record revenue in workstation graphics. Graphics segment operating income was $22 million, up $4 million from the prior quarter primarily due to higher game console revenue.
At the same time, the company managed to increase unit shipments and revenue for its high-end AMD Radeon HD graphics cards in the channel, primarily due to the “Never Settle” promotion, which included free video games bundled with graphics cards in addition to a new driver that enabled higher performance of AMD’s graphics solutions.
“To help accelerate desktop GPU sales in the channel and reinforce our long term strategy to be a leader in gaming, we launched the “Never Settle” campaign in the quarter. This promotion was well-received by partners and consumers as we bundled some of the season’s hottest games with our highest-performing graphics cards. […]We will launch a follow-on promotion this quarter pairing our highest-performing graphics cards with some of the most anticipated game titles of 2013,” added Mr. Read.
The head of AMD did not elaborate on details, but it is logical to expect AMD to release its high-end Radeon HD 8000-series “Sea Islands” graphics cards later this quarter and in Q2 2012 to boost demand from performance enthusiasts. The higher performance difference between the premium Radeon HD 7000 family and Radeon HD 8000 family will be, the higher demand from gamers AMD will see for the new products.