AMD CEO calls blockchain tech “a distraction”, denies mining skewed Q1 results

Processor maker doubles-down on gamer-focused strategy, denies analyst claims that Ethereum mining has juiced-up 2018 profits. 

Lisa Su, CEO of processor and graphics card maker AMD, has been speaking to CNBC about its company’s role as a creator of crypto-mining equipment, calling Blockchain “a bit of a distraction in the short term”.

While Su sees blockchain technology as “very important”, and admitted that AMD’s profits have benefitted in the form of better-than-expected Q1 results, she said she believes the spike to be “temporary in nature… and not a reliable avenue of future growth” for the firm, which would focus on its traditional markets going forward.

“The long-term technology around blockchain is an important technology,” she continued, “and we’re spending a lot of time with some of the key influencers in this area, so I think it’ll be here for the next 3, 4, 5 years. Now what it does tomorrow vs. yesterday, I think that’s anyone’s guess.”

Su believes, that blockchain mining accounted for around 10% of AMD’s revenue during Q1 of 2018, though other estimates are much higher – with some analysts alleging that the firm’s pleasing results are being skewed by a spike in Ethereum mining . The CEO was, however, keen to focus on other aspects of the business that were bringing growth too, in order to mitigate for those claims.

“We’re very happy with how the quarter went and how the year started. For us it’s about our long term strategy paying off,” Su said. “We saw a nice ramp across our product lines across our PC, gaming and data center product lines.”

Crypto, she said, was “a nice growth factor but it’s not a dominant growth factor. People are watching the day-to-day of what Bitcoin does and [assume] that relates to our day to day sales and it doesn’t.”