It is no secret that the launch of the Zen architecture has brought plenty of competition back to the CPU market. AMD is about to make another leap with Zen 2, which will also introduce the first 7nm desktop CPUs to the market and put them in the hands of gamers. Now, it looks like Intel might be starting to feel the heat.
Rumours of incoming price cuts aside, there is more news coming out of Intel this week ahead of AMD’s Ryzen 3000 launch. Over on Reddit, one person leaked a document claiming to be from an employee-only publication called ‘Intel Circuit News’, which is supposedly a private news portal. The post was titled “AMD Competitive profile: Where we go toe-to-toe, why they are resurgent, which chips of ours beats theirs”. The original leak has unfortunately been deleted but reports about its contents have been doing the rounds, so the cat is already out of the bag.
The post talks briefly about the 50-year long rivalry between Intel and AMD, before saying “by most accounts, the competitive threat to Intel from AMD is the greatest it has been in years”. The post also notes that Intel is facing a “challenging period ahead”, but hopes that by sticking to the ‘six pillars of innovation’, the company will pull through and continue to be a leader in the CPU market.
While Intel is struggling to make the jump beyond 14nm, AMD is about to release the first 7nm desktop CPUs. Intel is planning to release its first 10nm CPU in 2019 but we likely won’t see enthusiast 10nm or above hardware for another couple of years.
There is an opportunity for AMD to continue disrupting the status quo but as the leaked document notes, Intel does have some advantages. The company is ten times larger than AMD and employs a vastly higher number of people specialising in different areas. Intel’s software development team alone goes beyond AMD’s total employee count. Intel has enough money in the bank to hunker down and work on a true generational leap but something like that will be years off.
KitGuru Says: This claimed leak isn’t the juiciest but it is certainly a more candid look at the situation compared to what we are used to seeing. AMD’s rise over the last couple of years may well have caught Chipzilla off guard but it will be interesting to see how closely the two companies continue to compete over the next five years.