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AMD launches new chips for AI PCs amid fierce fight with Nvidia, Intel

POLAND – 2023/07/31: In this photo illustration an AMD logo seen displayed on a smartphone with stock market percentages on a laptop screen. (Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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U.S. chip design firm Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday unveiled new processors to power artificial intelligence-enabled PCs as it seeks to gain leadership in the AI PC race against rivals like Nvidia and Intel.

AI PCs are personal computers equipped with processors designed to perform AI tasks, such as real-time language translation and summarization.

Referring to them as the most powerful chips yet for business PCs, AMD said the Ryzen Pro 8040 series processors for laptops and the Ryzen Pro 8000 series processors for desktops are built with the advanced 4-nanometer technology.

These processors are expected to power PC models from brands including HP and Lenovo from the second quarter of 2024, AMD said in a press release Tuesday.

These new AMD chips will compete against Nvidia’s and Intel’s chips that are specifically designed for AI PCs.

Like Nvidia, AMD doesn’t fabricate its own chips. Instead, it outsources the manufacturing of its chips to semiconductor foundries, mainly to the world’s largest contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

TSMC currently produces 3-nanometer chips and plans to commence mass production of 2-nanometer chips in 2025. Typically, a smaller nanometer size yields more powerful and efficient chips. 

In January, AMD announced the next-generation Ryzen 8000G series desktop processors which are able to provide “immense power and dominant performance for intensive workloads including gaming and content creation.” The 8000G series is built on the 4-nanometer process.

AMD and Intel have talked up AI PCs as a new era for the industry. Last year saw an AI boom after ChatGPT’s launch in November 2022.

AMD CEO Lisa Su: Everyone will want an AI PC as the technology progresses

U.S. consulting firm Gartner estimates shipments of AI PCs will consist of 22% of all PCs in 2024. The research firm expects 54.5 million units of AI PCs to be shipped by the end of the year.

“The rapid adoption of on-device GenAI capabilities and AI processors will eventually become a standard requirement for technology vendors,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior director analyst at Gartner.

However, this could present challenges to vendors as they would face difficulties “differentiating themselves from competitors” and increasing revenue, said Atwal.

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