According to a DigiTimes report today, AMD will see a significant sales spike in the second half of 2019, thanks to a rise in CPU and GPU sales for laptops, motherboards and servers. The report cited anonymous "sources at PC makers."
Zen 2 Architecture to Boost AMD Sales
AMD’s third-generation Ryzen chips, based on the Zen 2 CPU microarchitecture, are "set to be unveiled in May at Computex 2019," DigiTimes said. While AMD hasn't confirmed that it will debut the new chips at the Taiwan conference, AMD CEO Lisa Su will give the pre-show keynote. Meanwhile, Zen 2-based Rome server CPUs are expected to start shipping in the middle of this year, while the new Navi GPUs are expected to arrive in Q3. All of these CPUs and GPUs will be fabricated on TSMC's 7nm process.
AMD processors based on the first-generation Zen architecture have significantly increased the company’s share in both the desktop PC and server makers. Zen 2, which promises a boost in instructions per cycle (IPC) and clock speeds, as well as core count, should lead to an even higher adoption from OEMs than the first-generation Zen chips (which includes Ryzen 1000 and Ryzen 2000).
Furthermore, the report noted that vendors, including HP, Lenovo, Asus and Acer, have already increased adoption of AMD components amid Intel’s CPU shortages. In fact, Asus has seen "better-than-expected sales" with its AMD-based gaming laptops, according to DigiTimes.
"With the increasing adoption, AMD is expected to see its share significantly increase in the notebook market," the report said.
Last but not least, the Ryzen branding has become better known to notebook buyers, meaning there should be more shoppers actively seeking Ryzen chips in their laptops, too.
AMD’s X570 Chipset First to Support PCIe 4
"Because of the platform's strong price/performance ratio, many motherboard players have increased the shipment proportion of their AMD 500 series-based motherboards, which is expected to boost AMD's share in the desktop market in the second half," DigiTimes said.
Navi to the Rescue (of AMD’s GPU Business)
During the Bulldozer (and its successors) years, AMD’s CPU business declined at a fast rate, but its GPU business, which it acquired from ATI, was still doing well. Now, the company is doing increasingly better with its Zen-based CPUs, but its GPU business has seen a sharp decline in the past couple of years, not helped by the fact that AMD saw serious delays in its GPU development, as well as loss of graphics executives.
DigiTimes’ report noted that AMD expects its Q1 2019 revenues to slip 12 percent quarter-over-quarter and 24 percent year-over-year, partially due to the season. Although AMD launched the 7nm Radeon VII card with much fanfare, the fact that it was Vega-based meant that AMD’s GPU sales decline couldn’t be reversed, DigiTimes noted.
The Navi architecture is expected to give AMD’s GPU business some sort of reset, although it remains to be seen if the announced specifications will satisfy consumers who have increasingly switched to Nvidia GPUs. Semi-custom Navi GPUs are also expected to arrive in the next-gen gaming consoles from both Sony and Microsoft, as well as in the upcoming Google Stadia cloud-based game streaming platform, which again should help AMD’s GPU sales.