Opinion: The shifting semiconductor sands

azicat

Posts: 62   +58
Imho, complancency was not AMD's problem in the original Athlon days but rather lack of access to large volume sales channels (OEM, large Retailers).

Not selling enough = lack of ressources to invest in R&D and fab modernization.
I was suggesting the possibility that AMD could follow Intel's footsteps in stagnant development, e.g. hypothetical Zen 3+++++
 
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neeyik

Posts: 1,116   +1,098
Staff member
I was suggesting the possibility that AMD could follow Intel's footsteps in stagnant development, e.g. hypothetical Zen 3+++++
They’re not really in a strong enough financial and market position to do this. Zen has clearly generated a lot of momentum but also expectations that successive revisions are (a) appreciably better than their predecessors and (b) delivered as promised. So far this has been the case but who knows for beyond Zen 3/4.
 
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Irata

Posts: 636   +836
TechSpot Elite
They’re not really in a strong enough financial and market position to do this. Zen has clearly generated a lot of momentum but also expectations that successive revisions are (a) appreciably better than their predecessors and (b) delivered as promised. So far this has been the case but who knows for beyond Zen 3/4.
Agree - AMD are slowly making inroads into the OEM and server markets but you can be sure that if Intel were to solve their problems in the next few months and release an all around competitive CPU, OEM would drop AMD like a hot potato for that sweet MDF money.

If AMD want to survive long term, they will need to continue pushing on and executing relentlessly.

Imho, a clear sign of AMD establishing itself as a strong player would be OEM offering AMD based systems with better options and in more desireable form factors than their Intel counterpart if AMD makes a better chip for that particular application. Oh, and actually market those systems.

We are still far away from this and not even at the "offer it with the same options" step.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 62   +78
But Intel aren’t down and out, their 14nm stuff is competing with AMDs 7nm stuff which is impressive in its own right. They just need to get their foundries in order.

No they don't, not even close.

On a performance/watt level Intel is far behind AMD.

Even when it comes to single threaded tasks, it takes a high clocked Intel Chip to meet/beat AMD at a lower clock speed.

When Zen 3 comes with 8 core sharing L3 cache, game performance is going to up big time. Intel's 10nm will not get them the crown back.

I can see Intel making a comeback later in life, but I don't see that happening in the next 3-4 years. Intel has no plans to move forward from this sunnycove based arch for a long time.

Intel also has no plans for building Arm based products.
 

Arbie

Posts: 69   +81
But they have sold the extra performance they have at a premium. The average spend per user has gone up.
What ??? How can you possibly imply that AMD has driven prices up? Sure, they'll sell you a 16-core for $750, but that's hugely better than what Intel was selling for $1000+. You can get a Ryzen 2600 6-core for $140! That's 1/4 of what Intel would have wanted just a few years ago. AMD has saved our butts!

Yes, great performance has finally been brought to the consumer arena (thanks to AMD) but - big reveal here - you don't *have* to buy the most expensive one! Most other people have figured that out so your claim that spending has somehow been forced up by AMD is absurd.

And - Intel "just needs to get their foundries in order"?? Good of you to share these amazing insights on a public site. I would have bought Intel stock and then slipped the word to Bob Swan.

And - "If Intel hadn't suffered delays and problems, things would be different". Another stunner. And "suffered" as in it wasn't their fault? Does AMD get to "suffer delays" or do they just screw up and deservedly fail?

And - "Intel's 14nm is competitive"?? If power consumption is no object then *everything* is competitive. How do you get to ignore that? And without AMD they'd be selling us that same 14nm technology at twice the price or more!

Maybe there really are alternate universes.
 
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Boshum

Posts: 143   +96
But as someone who purchased the fastest consumer grade chip available in 2014 (i7 4790K) with an ROG mobo and fancy RAM for a total of £470. I’m now looking at spending more than double that to get the top end Intel or AMD part, an ROG motherboard and fancy RAM.
You don't have to spend double. Feel free to spend what you did in the past. It will still be a big improvement. It doesn't matter if it's labeled 'flagship' or not...does it?
 
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Mister_K

Posts: 1,914   +605
I think the whole x86 architecture is slowly becoming redundant.

All the powerful calculations, for AI, data centers and general science are shifting toward nVidia-based systems, and other custom AI accelerators. And many specific tasks are taken by the quantum platform.

The rest of the market does not not require powerful computing, and finds that ARM is more than sufficient for every day work and gaming. It won't be long before we see a good gaming rig that uses ARM as the main platform, with nVidia video cards. Apple will be among the first companies to introduce such products next year, although they are just as likely to opt for AMD graphics yet again.
So what is the benefit of ARM over x86?

Size? Speed? Efficiency? Cooling? Cost to Manufacture?

If it's less power than x86 then no, x86 is here to stay for at least few more decades until competition catches up.

However market is hungry for more GPU orientated hardware. For instance, my editor of choice (Davinci Resolve) loves powerful GPUs with the CPU not being as important.
 

poohbear

Posts: 455   +334
The article says:

"But the market didn’t see it that way, and subsequently, Intel stock has lost nearly 20% of its value in the last week. ***To be fair, this is also a stock market that over the last few months has shown absolutely no sense of rationality, so you have to take any dramatic stock price moves in the current environment with a very large grain of salt.***"

I politely disagree. Tech stocks have skyrocketed since the lock down as they're the main beneficiaries due to all the technology we're using in a stay-at-home environment. What was meant to happen in 5 years on a technological level, has been accelerated to 3-5 months due to the work-from-home environment. It's all tech-focused now; 300 of the 500 stocks on the S&P 500 have been hammered and are still doing poorly, the other 200 stocks have gone up so much simply because they're tech-focused companies or they benefit from a pandemic situation (I.e. Clorox/sanitizer companies, Outdoor companies, gun companies etc).

Intel stock in particular was always lagging because they simply weren't innovating or inspiring investors with their tepid growth stories. Look at Intel's stock prices in 2016 vs today, and look at other semiconductor stocks in 2016 vs today, it's a massive chasm!
 

trieste1s

Posts: 25   +27
TechSpot Elite
Not sure why some people hate AMD or Intel. Seriously. If Intel begins to suck in the coming years, AMD will simply do the exact same thing Intel has been doing for the past 10 years.
Like OEM lock-in and other shenanigans that resulted in an antitrust suit? AMD hasn't done it _yet_ , but people are already judging AMD as if it has. While on the other hand, Intel fanboys excuse all of Intel's bad behaviour by justifying their purchase decisions using pure economics when many pivotal things that Intel has done were the bad stuff you read about in economics textbooks. Intel keeps getting a free pass; its antitrust behaviour is never brought up in purchasing decisions. But AMD's future as-yet-happened antitrust actions are mentioned repeatedly by "unbiased" "observers".

It's business 101. AMD is not a charity organisation neither is Intel, they wants to make money but AMD is still trying to gain marketshare, so they are still somewhat trying to satisfy buyers.
Does business 101 involve killing a competitor's marketshare using illegal means that result in antitrust lawsuits?

Remember when Zen 3 was not supposed to work on 300 and 400 series boards? AMD listened. For now.
While Intel fanboys excuse Intel's change of chipset for every single chip generation again and again, ad nauseum ad infinitum.
 
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ruddevil

Posts: 21   +42
The prices have increased across the board since Ryzen came along.You get more for your money but you still pay more overall. I’m not saying Ryzen is bad it’s definitely the better buy. But now a midrange CPU is the cost of a flagship.
What?! As someone who is overseeing PC purchasing in a company, I can attest you that it was not Ryzen who drove the prices up. It was Intel all along, especially in the enterprise market with almost no AMD solution being offered most of the past decade. The price increase of our standard i5 notebooks have been a regularity YoY, at meagre performance increase. That had happened way before Ryzen. When Ryzen came out, it was simply tagging along with what the market was willing to pay at that time. And based on their performance level, they are definitely cheaper than Intel's.

I'm glad Intel stopped having their own ways. I'm glad AMD came up with a competitive offering. Otherwise, we would be stuck with Intel's behavior for years to come. If you want to play blame game of the price increase: blame Intel. All. The Time.
 
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SixTymes

Posts: 36   +17
Ok, more beating around the bush, Intel bashing. its getting tiring. but ok. one detail as to why these foundry node set backs happened in the first place, all the blame goes back to the previous CEO who was busy getting his noddle wet, and turns out was not doing much work at all. That went on for years during his time, and it also just so happens at the same time engineers from competing companies were hired by him, and floundered, they were not doing work either. Ok, now to the hype train AMD. firstly they floundered for over a decade, and almost went out of business until massive cash infusion came alone from the Saudi's (FACT). the point is, why is it ok for amd to flounder for over a decade, and one mistake all about the node number and almost everyone bashes them? the answer is, there is more to the hate bandwagon going on than you admit. Another fact, go look at fermi labs recent amd investment, those amd server cpu's have next to no stability, they are and have been burning out. My 10 year old i7 still runs like new, I for one am happily waiting for DDR5 platform from Intel as my next relaible work station. If in the future everything goes from x86 to arm, meh, ill switch when I need to. In the mean time, you guys remain on the HYPE amd bandwagon, have a fun ride, ill gladly wait for stability and not use chipset that bricks or in need of firmware updates from day one to function.
 
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Shadowboxer

Posts: 736   +443
No they don't, not even close.

On a performance/watt level Intel is far behind AMD.

Even when it comes to single threaded tasks, it takes a high clocked Intel Chip to meet/beat AMD at a lower clock speed.

When Zen 3 comes with 8 core sharing L3 cache, game performance is going to up big time. Intel's 10nm will not get them the crown back.

I can see Intel making a comeback later in life, but I don't see that happening in the next 3-4 years. Intel has no plans to move forward from this sunnycove based arch for a long time.

Intel also has no plans for building Arm based products.
I was referring to performance. Not performance per watt. I’m not sure why you made that assumption. Intel’s power consumption is worse but not by enough for most home users to care about. The power consumption thing is a straw man argument. The fact is Intel’s 14nm is competing with and even beating out AMDs 7nm in some tests that’s either hugely embarrassing for AMD or hugely impressive from Intel. Pick one.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 62   +78
I was referring to performance. Not performance per watt. I’m not sure why you made that assumption. Intel’s power consumption is worse but not by enough for most home users to care about. The power consumption thing is a straw man argument. The fact is Intel’s 14nm is competing with and even beating out AMDs 7nm in some tests that’s either hugely embarrassing for AMD or hugely impressive from Intel. Pick one.
Some Tests...

More like some games and a very few specific workloads tailored toward Intels chips. AMD wins at nearly 95% of benchmarks. Who cares if they lose out of 5% at best.

Intel Chips clock higher and don't suffer from their cores being in groups of 4 in terms of L3 cache.

Actually Ryzen has been impressive from AMD. And Intel has been embarrassing itself for years now. Intel chips are across the board a worse pick for any high performance computer.

When it comes to gamers, a low % continues to buy them because of the fact Intel May perform better on a select few titles. Even if they do not play them. And because they probably don't do any other heavy task on their PC than games. Intel is fine for them.

Intel's biggest hold right now is the server market, but its just a matter of time until the likes of Dell switch over their mainline server platforms over to intel. Zen has proven since Zen1 that it is better suited for VM use than Intel's chips. But it takes years for major manufactures to start the switch over. AMD will end up with a fair chunk of the server market in the next couple years and intel knows it.

Intel's 10nm cant even compete with AMD. Intel's best mobile is still behind.

Hell Apple left Intel because of the fact they were knowingly falling behind in mobile power usage. They could have switched to AMD, but apple already had a product line ready for laptop use.

Intel will be a joke for next few years. It will only get worse. 10nm for the desktop will not save them. And 7nm will most likely get delayed again.
 
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