AMD looks ahead to profitability, talks about Fusion and mobile DirectX 11 GPUs

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For the first time in years, AMD expects its microprocessor business to turn a profit in 2010. In a meeting with analysts and investors, the company said it is working hard to reduce debt -- which is currently around $3.2 billion. While still down, AMD posted a smaller-than-expected loss in the third quarter, which may be a sign of better things to come.

CEO Dirk Meyer is convinced the company will return to producing a handsome cash flow, saying that he could "already hear the cash registers starting to ring." AMD's strategy will be consumer-oriented, with a focus on mid-range desktops and notebooks -- and rightfully so. Out of the 300 million PCs the company expects to be sold next year, some 180 million will go to consumers.

While the company is generally positioned as an underdog, it has beat Nvidia to market with DirectX 11-ready desktop graphics cards, and it won't stop there. According to AMD's Rick Bergman, the company is pushing to release DirectX 11-enabled discrete mobile graphics chips in the first quarter of 2010. If true, AMD will beat Nvidia to market for the second time -- though, it is a limited edge with few DirectX 11-capable applications available.

AMD has also gone on the record, promising to launch a Fusion product in 2011, which is the company's venture to combine GPU and CPU cores on a single die. With AMD's two new x86 architectures (not to mention its Phenom II refresh, new desktop platforms, or its various upcoming notebook processors and platforms), its tight supply of Radeon HD 5000 cards, its Eyefinity project, and its Vision marketing campaign, things must be chaotic in Sunnyvale.

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