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Analyst sees worsening future for AMD Fusion series

The low-cost AMD Fusion series could be slowly supplanted by similarly priced offerings from future Intel and ARM processors

At least one analyst is predicting a bleak future for AMD’s lineup of low-power advanced processing units.

According to a blog at Barron’s, chip analyst Alex Gauna of JMP Securities does not see the Fusion chipsets succeeding in the long run. One of the reasons, he explains, is due to discontinuing support for the APU in general. Gauna claims that major manufacturers such as Dell are becoming unsupportive of AMD’s new Fusion offerings and will likely not be offering a wide selection of Fusion-based notebooks.

As manufacturers distance themselves from Fusion, Gauna sees an opportunity for them to jump to Intel’s latest 2nd generation Core chips or even ARM-based CPUs. Indeed, the casual notebook market may see an emergence of ARM-based notebooks by the end of this year, which will only be encouraged since Windows 8 is expected to officially support the instruction set.

OEMs could pull the life support from AMD, as other ARM-based second source alternatives to Intel emerge with the Windows 8 transition expected to emerge around year-end,” says Gauna. As a result, he has cut his earnings per share (EPS) estimate to 25 cents, down from 40, for 2012.

Gauna’s pessimistic future of the AMD Fusion series counters reports released a couple of months ago. Back in April, WSJ reported a doubling in AMD’s profits due in part by high Fusion shipment numbers reaching up to 5 million units since launch. We will have to wait and see if AMD can maintain its success with the series into 2012.

Currently, the Llano core is the latest offering in the Fusion lineup.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-07-12 (Update: 2012-05-26)