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Friday, September 24, 2021

Xilinx reports record sales ahead of acquisition by AMD

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Computer chipmaker Xilinx Inc. beat expectations today as it reported record revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter ahead of its proposed acquisition by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. later this year.

The company, which makes chips for the aerospace and defense industries as well as for servers and consumer products, reported a profit before certain costs such as stock compensation of 82 cents per share. Its revenue rose 13% from a year ago, to $851 million, a record high for the company.

That was better than expectations, as Wall Street modeling earnings of 75 cents per share on revenue of just $812.5 million.

Xilinx also reported net income for the quarter of $188 million. For the full year, it reported earnings of $2.62 per share on total revenue of $3.15 billion.

Xilinx is best known for its field-programmable gate arrays, or FPGAs, which are a class of microchips it invented that can be reconfigured after production to handle different types of workloads. With FPGAs, companies can customize the circuit behavior to maximize the performance of the chips for different applications. They can run workloads they’re optimized for more quickly than traditional central processing units.

The company’s FPGAs are widely used in data center servers and also in smart cars and satellites, among other things.

Its best performance during the quarter was its Data Center Group, which saw revenue jump 20% on an annual basis due to strong adoption by so-called hyperscale data center operators across compute, networking and storage workloads. Elsewhere, Aerospace & Defense, Industrial and Test & Measurement revenue grew by 6%, and the Automotive, Broadcast and Consumer business saw sales grow 1%.

Xilinx’s Wired and Wireless Group saw revenue fall by 14% on “China trade-related impacts” and slowdowns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said.

Xilinx Chief Executive Victor Peng (pictured) said he was pleased with the company’s performance amid a challenging supply chain environment. “Xilinx saw further improvement in demand across a majority of our diversified end markets with key strength in our Wireless, Data Center and Automotive markets, the pillars of our growth strategy,” Peng added.

The earnings call is likely to be one of Xilinx’s last, since it’s in the process of being swallowed up by its much larger rival AMD. Plans for AMD’s $35 billion acquisition were confirmed in October, and the deal is reportedly on track to be completed before the end of 2021.

AMD cited a few reasons for buying Xilinx. The deal is expected to give it a boost in the data center, where it has already made up significant ground on its rival Intel Corp. in the market for central processing unit chips for servers in recent years. The acquisition will also give AMD a much stronger foothold in areas such as the automotive, aerospace and defense sectors, where its presence is currently minimal.

Analysts say AMD is also interested in Xilinx’s Versal processors that combine the reconfigurable circuits of its FPGAs with CPU cores and machine learning accelerators. That makes them ideal for wireless carriers that need to run a mix of applications on their new 5G infrastructure.

Because of the pending acquisition, Xilinx declined to provide guidance for the next quarter and fiscal year.

Photo: Xilinx/Facebook

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