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AMD CEO Lisa Su discusses supply issues and the future of CPUs



In context: AMD’s CEO held a small press conference this week during CES 2021 where she discussed the major topics related to AMD’s future and their corner of the industry. Now that AMD is in a strong position, she believes that they should double down on their own technologies and innovations without worrying about other companies.

Desktop processors are AMD’s biggest strength, and laptops and enterprise CPUs are the two biggest markets AMD has the ability to invade – and AMD has no plans to become complacent. Lisa Su says that AMD puts a lot of focus on Zen 4 and Zen 5, and expects them to be “extremely competitive” at a minimum.

It was asked because the core figures have been the same for two generations, if the current figures ̵

1; eight for mobile, sixteen for mainstream and sixty-four for companies – would be de facto limits. Lisa Su laughed at the question and confirmed that “there will be more core counters in the future – I do not want to say that there are limits! It will come when we scale the rest of the system.”

One of the ways Intel plans to add cores is by mixing technologies; they include high-performance, high-efficiency cores in Alder Lake processors. AMD does not plan to follow this route, and Lisa Su pointed out that their current design already scales “very well from construction to business, with the right mix of power, performance and die range.”

AMD expects an increase in specialization in the next couple of years, but Su believes that they are already equipped to meet the challenges. She pointed to consoles and said that “AMD has a strong semi-custom division to meet these opportunities.” She also reiterated her belief in x86, as opposed to the more malleable arm, describing it as a “strong ecosystem” that deserves a heavy investment.

However, AMD cannot continue to invest in new products without securing the capacity to produce them. AMD has new GPUs and Milan Epyc processors that will be launched soon. Unfortunately, AMD expects “density in the first half of the year” which will only decrease in time for the next round of CPUs and GPUs in the second half of 2021.

Fortunately, AMD expects prices to begin to fall as tariff measures take effect and Covid-19 problems are reduced. They are also willing to undercut OEMs with reference design GPUs (which is pretty fun, if you think about it).

To prevent future supply problems, AMD has invested in the construction of new equipment and facilities. They will be prepared to handle this level of demand for future launches.


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