The year 2018 was an eventful one for the CPU sector. Intel lost its footing, AMD took advantage of the chaos and gained steadily in all segments. From Ryzen to Epyc, team red started chipping away at Intel’s territory both in the consumer as well as the server space. AMD’s stock rose by almost 140% while Intel’s almost stayed stagnant with a growth of less than 10%.
It was just a bad year for Intel, former CEO Brian Krzanich was booted over an extra-marital office affair, pretty much all CPUs were hit by the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities but Intel took the brunt of it. Lastly, the 14nm chip shortages did more damage than all the other two combined and this nightmare is still not over for the chipmaker.
As soon as the Ryzen CPUs were unleashed, all hell broke loose for team blue. In a panic, they modified the Xeon chips and started releasing them for the consumer market. The naming scheme made no sense and the prices weren’t tempting either. Fast forward to present day, and you’ll see that although Intel’s situation may be less precarious, the company’s troubles are far from over.
AMD Zen2 AKA Ryzen 3000 and 64 Core Rome CPUs Incoming
AMD’s Zen2 based Ryzen 3000 lineup is expected to hit retail in the coming months and the 64 Core Epyc (Rome) processor has already started sending shockwaves towards blue-camp. At the same time, OEMs have made a deal with AMD that allows them to pair the Zen+ based mobile APUs with NVIDIA’s GTX Turing GPUs. This unexpected combo of AMD-NVIDIA powered laptops provides gamers with a much more affordable option than Intel’s present offerings.
Lastly, it looks like Intel will be stuck on the 14nm++ node for at least another 6-8 months. The mature Coffee Lake architecture will be once again repurposed to power the 9th generation Comet Lake lineup set to be unveiled at Computex 2019.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Intel. The company’s 10nm Icelake processors are finally visible on the horizon and should debut in early 2020. Furthermore, the Gen11 iGPUs and Intel Xe discrete graphics cards should allow a weathered team blue to expand its roots in the ever-competitive Silicon Valley.