AMD could have a record-breaking 2020 with Ryzen 4000 desktop CPUs and new laptop chips

(Image credit: AMD)

It’s no secret that AMD has been making huge gains in the processor world at Intel’s expense, as 2019 was positively peppered with sales success stories for Team Red – and that success is set to continue throughout 2020 according to a report from DigiTimes.

That might seem like stating the obvious somewhat, given what we’ve been hearing from and about AMD and Intel of late – or indeed perhaps more to the point, what we’ve not been hearing from Intel – but it’s interesting to be informed about what industry sources believe, going by the aforementioned report.

DigiTimes stated: “The shortage of Intel’s PC processors has already prompted OEMs and brand vendors to increasingly adopt AMD’s CPUs in their products since 2019, and the trend will likely persist this year, according to industry sources.”

It’s certainly a worrying picture for Intel, which as mentioned is suffering from well-documented CPU production issues that are set to continue as 2020 progresses. On top of that, Intel’s next-gen Comet Lake-S desktop processors never showed up at CES (they were widely expected to get an airing), and could allegedly be delayed due to problems taming the power demands of the flagship 10-core chip.

Previously we’ve heard that Comet Lake would get a first quarter launch, or maybe an April release, but now there are even concerns that it might be more like May before the next-gen CPUs emerge.

And that would be sliding dangerously towards the potential release window for Ryzen 4000 desktop processors, which are expected in the second half of 2020, and might just be out earlier in that period rather than later.

Not only are the 4th-gen Ryzen desktop CPUs lurking on the horizon, promising a 10% to 20% performance improvement on existing 3rd-gen Ryzen models – which are already plenty fast – but AMD has just revealed its Ryzen 4000 mobile chips at CES, to compound Intel’s misery.

Those mobile offerings look extremely competitive, and if leaked benchmarks are any indication, they will offer performance levels not all that far off the power of desktop processors.

Mobile momentum

Now, when DigiTimes talks about OEMs increasingly adopting AMD processors, that of course also includes laptop manufacturers being more likely to pick up Ryzen CPUs, due to a combination of persisting stock woes for Intel, and the apparent strength of the new Ryzen 4000 mobile processors.

The notebook arena – which represents the biggest chunk of the PC market – is where Intel still dominates, although AMD has been making headway of late. However, if AMD really starts to catch up in laptops, and a scenario unfolds whereby it becomes even more dominant in the desktop arena too, then this could be a serious double-blow for Intel.

A final point to consider, as Wccftech, which spotted this report, points out, is that further buzz on the silicon grapevine is that AMD is doubling its 7nm orders (meaning Ryzen 3000 processors and Navi GPUs) at TSMC, after Apple shifting from 7nm to 5nm has freed up capacity at the chipmaker.

In other words, AMD shouldn’t have any problems with CPU stock, very much unlike Intel (and hopefully even the highest-end Ryzens won’t suffer from inventory problems so much going forward, as this is one area where AMD has come unstuck in recent times).

All of this is merely speculation, of course, but let’s put it this way: we wouldn’t bet against the way all the signs are pointing for AMD.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).