Intel Internal Memo Leak Reveals They’re Impressed with AMD
Mike Sanders / 3 weeks ago
Intel Admits AMD is Impressing Them
For rather a significant period of time now, Intel has enjoyed the ‘top dog’ status in processors. Not without good reason. Not only have they consistently released the best processors for a significant period, but in comparative terms, their middle of the road has often proven too lofty for AMD’s best efforts. At least, in gaming terms.
Following the release of the Ryzen range back in 2017, however, the gap between the two companies began to close. Not only in performance, but also in ownership figures. In an internal memo leaked via TechPowerUp, however, it seems that with the 3rd-generation Ryzen releases just on the horizon, they’ve had to make the rather awkward admission. Specifically, that they’re impressed with what Team Red has managed this time around.
What Has Intel Said?
Although the memo is rather long, one of the key aspects is what Intel considers AMD to have an advantage with. These are (and are direct quotes) from the memo;
- AMD offers high performance CPUs, posing direct competition to Intel in both our core client and datacenter CPU businesses. With our announced ambitions to bring new discrete graphics to market. We are bringing new competition to both AMD’s and NVIDIA’s graphics businesses.
- AMD has recently been gaining some traction in winning public cloud offerings. And competition from AMD is shaping up to be especially tough in high performance computing. HPC performance is usually driven by the number of cores and the number of memory channels (or memory bandwidth). Intel is challenged on both fronts.
- AMD’s upcoming next-generation Zen-core products, codenamed Rome for servers and Matisse for desktop, will intensify our desktop and especially server competition. The latter is likely to be the most intense in about a decade. At Computex, AMD announced that Matisse, the company’s 3rd Gen Ryzen 3000 series processors, would be available starting July 7. (See “Related links” section below for details on Intel’s Computex news relating to our gaming and client competitiveness.)
- Outside of desktop and servers, Intel’s competitive position in notebooks and business PCs is stronger as customers value specific aspects such as productivity performance, battery life, and overall manageability where Intel has clear advantages versus the competition.
- By leveraging TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing – AMD no longer manufactures its own chips – AMD can drive higher core counts and higher performance than it could previously with Global Foundries as its in-house manufacturer. These 7nm products will amplify the near-term competitive challenge from AMD. At Computex, Intel launched our own 10nm “Ice Lake” products – 10th Gen Intel Core – to strongly positive reviews.
Why Is AMD Doing So Well?
From 2006 to 2017, AMD had positive net income only three of the twelve years. I’m not sure we can point to a single thing that turned AMD around. But I do think it’s was absolutely rooted in the strategic changes AMD initiated in 2015/2016 that narrowed and simplified their focus. AMD shifted to focus on higher margin or premium segments, specifically high-end client, datacenter, graphics for gaming. And they continued their investment in their semi-custom and console business.
Rather than going after lower-margin, low-end products, they refocused on how to win higher-margin business. AMD added much-needed clarity since they were previously distracted by markets that didn’t align with their strengths. They simplified their investments and roadmap and started leveraging best-in-class foundries. Most importantly, they executed to that strategy. Having a clear focus and direction helps enable great execution.
I also believe AMD’s comeback was a result of being very product-centric. A top priority for AMD was building great products – high-performance compute and graphics solutions – from definition to development to delivery. – Steve Collins, Intel
What Do We Think?
For years we suspect that Intel has treated AMD like the benign parent who has seen their child bring them a drawing they want stuck to the fridge door. With more and more indications that the Ryzen 3000 series is going to beat Intel in many aspects, however, they’re clearing having to treat them very seriously. As above, arguably for the first time in 15 years.
We have yet to see any formal Ryzen 3000 benchmarks yet. From what we have seen, however, while it may have took Intel some courage to make this admission, denying it would seem pointless!
What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!