Soaring AMD processor sales could put pressure on Intel


Earlier this year, we’ve already been hearing about AMD making a comeback in terms of processor sales, and a new report suggests that the chip manufacturer could soon be sitting pretty with a 30% share of the desktop CPU market.

This comes from DigiTimes, a common – albeit sometimes erratic – source of tech rumors, which claims AMD will hit a 30% processor market share in the fourth-quarter of 2018 according to industry sources.

Exercise caution around this speculation, given that it’s only a prediction coming from unspecified sources who notes that drastic changes in AMD’s foundry strategy – principally getting on board with TSMC to make CPUs and GPUs with a 7nm process – are helping to pump up AMD's momentum.

As we said at the outset, we’ve already seen evidence of AMD selling more processors – albeit from the limited perspective of one major tech retailer – and DigiTimes further observes that Intel’s delay in launching 10nm (Cannon Lake) CPUs has also helped AMD’s cause.

Indeed, just a couple of months ago, we heard from Intel that Cannon Lake processors won’t ship in volume until the second half of 2019, with consumer PCs not going on sale until the very end of next year.

And that’s assuming things don’t slip further, which could be possible given the well-documented difficulties Intel has had in refining 10nm yields to an acceptable level for mass production. (Remember that Cannon Lake was first expected to ship in 2016).

Supply storm

When you put that together with the news of Intel’s recent supply issues with current 14nm CPUs, causing stock shortages and rising prices, and perhaps it’s not surprising that AMD’s Ryzen processors – which are suffering no such production problems – are consequently benefiting and taking up the slack.

As DigiTimes notes, PC manufacturers are increasingly turning to AMD’s CPUs rather than Intel’s thin-on-the-ground chips. The reports cites Asus, MSI, Gigabyte and ASRock as having ‘ramped up’ the shipment of devices carrying AMD processors.

This has apparently driven AMD’s desktop processor market share to more than 20% in Q3, with the expected 30% figure to be reached in the next quarter.

Remember, this is all forecasting and speculation, but it fits together to make a believable proposition for the near future.

AMD becoming more competitive in the processor market can only be a good thing for the consumer, putting more pressure on Intel to perform, and perhaps looking at its pricing for current CPUs if there are going to be issues with further delays in the drop to 10nm and Cannon Lake.

Assuming those stock problems which are inflating Intel’s prices can be sorted, of course, and the company certainly claimed it has things under control in a statement issued earlier this month.

 Via Hexus

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).