This time last year, Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) and Fujitsu agreed to merge their flash memory businesses. FASL, the new company, is already having an impact on AMD's results.

After yesterday close, AMD reported first-quarter earnings of $45.1 million, or $0.12 per share. Not only did that reverse last year's $0.42 per share loss, it blew away the $0.03 per-share analyst estimate. Sales climbed an impressive 73% year over year to $1.24 billion.

The bulk of those gains can be attributed to FASL, which brought in sales of $628 million. But the interesting thing about that number isn't that it was up 11% sequentially, but that flash memory sales were greater than computer processor sales.

This was despite gains in chip sales, which rose 22% from last year's quarter to $571 million. AMD's Opteron processor benefited as Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW) shipped servers based on AMD chips for the first time, following IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Fujitsu's lead.

Overall, gross margins jumped more than two percentage points sequentially and seven percentage points from last year due to surging flash sales and higher average selling prices. Cost controls also contributed to earnings.

In a bit of a role reversal, it was Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) that disappointed Tuesday, and AMD that impressed Wednesday. Just as striking, AMD shares are down sharply today despite the strong earnings, at least partially on concerns that the stock had gotten ahead of itself, having tripled off its 52-week lows.

So maybe this one's not a cinch after all. Maybe not, but one thing's certain: AMD is starting to execute, and it's putting up some flashy results.

Give us your take on the Advanced Micro Devices discussion board.

Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns none of the companies mentioned above.