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Analysts: Intel and AMD to Swap Market Share in 2022 in Mobile, Server

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Investment advisory firm Keybanc has released its Q4 2021 financial report on the semiconductor industry along with its predictions for 2022, and surprisingly there is both good and bad news for AMD and Intel in the year ahead. The dense report is meant to advise people who have investments tied up in the industry, but it contains a lot of interesting data about how 2021 ended, and what it thinks will occur in 2022. Though it predicts a general slowdown compared to the explosive growth of the past few years, it also predicts Intel will take even more market share from AMD in the PC notebook category, with AMD countering by taking some server market share from Intel, so a bit of tit for tat, one could say.

The gist of the firm’s analysis of the notebook market, which was flagged by Wccftech, is that Intel is in a very strong position with its all-new Alder Lake chips. As we noted in our reporting a week ago, Intel’s flagship mobile CPU recently launched to overwhelmingly positive reviews, and was widely declared the fastest mobile chip available, beating not only AMD’s best offerings but also Apple’s new M1 Max as well. Keybanc says the feedback it’s received from ODMs (companies that design and build laptops) is that the performance of Alder Lake has been much better than expected, which it characterizes as more than 50 percent more powerful than Intel’s prior generation, Tiger Lake.

AMD’s upcoming 6000 series chips are dubbed Zen 3+. (Image: AMD)

Keybanc notes that despite this significant leap forward, it expects Intel will only raise its chip prices around 10 percent in an effort to increase its market share. Keybanc concludes, “Alder Lake’s performance is also viewed as superior, as compared to AMD’s recently announced Ryzen 6000 CPU.” This is similar to what we have written earlier as well, as AMD”s upcoming 6000 series mobile chips have no architectural improvements from its current lineup, so there’s not much hope for AMD to take the fight to Intel this year, at least in the mobile space. Finally, Keybanc predicts by the end of 2022 Intel will have 85 percent of the PC notebook market, leaving 15 percent for AMD, which is an increase in Intel’s favor of about seven percent.

On the server and datacenter end of things, the situation is basically the opposite of notebooks, as AMD has a strong headwind with its Epyc parts compared to Intel’s Xeon chips. Keybanc says based on feedback from the server supply chain, it predicts very strong growth in 2022, with AMD anticipated to capture up to 20 percent of the market, compared to the 11-12 percent it has currently. One of the reasons for AMD’s expected success is the anticipated delay of Intel’s next-generation Xeon chips, code-named Sapphire Rapids. This is the company’s first server CPU built on its Intel 7 process, which is the same 10nm node it is currently using for Alder Lake. Keybanc says it originally figured Intel would launch its new chips in Q2 of 2022, but it believe it will be pushed back at least to Q3, due to what it says are issues tuning performance “related to excess heat dissipation related to PCIe gen 5.”

One interesting anecdote from the report, not covered above, is Keybanc claims AMD was affected by the ABF substrate shortage, which we reported in May of 2021. Because it had to pick and choose which CPUs it wanted to produce in quantity more than it has ever had to in the past, the firm thinks it’s prioritizing mobile and server chips instead of its desktop offerings since those are the markets where it has the best chance to make inroads in the near future. This might, just might, be the reason AMD is only offering a single CPU with its new V-cache technology in Q1 2022, the 5800X3D, as noted by Wccftech.

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