Advanced Micro Devices is riding high after a year of solid earnings reports and the launch of the second generation of its Ryzen Threadripper processor series.
The company, which is based in California but has a most of its operations in Austin, called the new Ryzen Threadripper the “world’s most powerful desktop processor,” promising faster speeds than Intel’s Core i9 processors.
The Threadripper’s debut on Monday was well received by Wall Street. AMD’s shares closed Tuesday at $20.02, up more than 50 percent year-over-year, with a 5 percent jump since the beginning of the week.
“It’s phenomenal for things like video and picture editing,” Enderle said. “It’s really where its strength is because a lot of those applications use CPU cores pretty heavily, and so this does a really good job of that.”
The processors were developed under AMD’s Zen architecture. Threadripper 2990WX, which sells for $1,799, is touted by AMD for delivering up to 53 percent faster multi-thread performance than Intel’s Core i9-7980XE.
“We created Ryzen Threadripper processors because we saw an opportunity to deliver unheard-of levels of multithreaded computing for the demanding needs of creators, gamers, and PC enthusiasts...,” said Jim Anderson, AMD’s senior vice president. “With the second gen processor family we took that challenge to a whole new level – delivering the biggest, most powerful desktop processor the world has ever seen.”
Industry analyst Patrick Moorhead said AMD’s Threadripper processors have twice the cores than the first generation.
“For programs like video editors that can take advantage of many cores, the new Threadripper is higher performance than Intel’s Core i9,” Moorhead said in an email, adding that AMD’s short to midterm strategy is to disrupt the PC and server market with “an annual cadence of new products.”
AMD has long been known for its niche in building computer chips focused on the gaming industry. But the company has lagged behind much larger rival Intel when it comes to computer processors.
That’s changed with AMD’s Threadripper processors, Enderle said.
“This processor kind of caught (Intel) flat footed,” he said. “Like any dominate company that’s a near monopoly, they just didn’t feel like they needed to invest any more money in this space so they cut back on marketing, they cut back on development and the end result is that AMD has moved around them at least at the top end.”
AMD’s momentum began in 2017 when sales of the first Ryzen line led AMD to report a $43 million profit. The company had historically underperformed and lost $497 million the year prior.
The company is also expected to benefit from a boost in worldwide PC shipments. New industry data released last month shows growth for the first time in six years.
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