All you have to do to witness the excitement surrounding Advanced Micro Devices is to look at the chipmaker’s share price, which has risen more than 50 percent since the beginning of the year.
The latest surge, coming in the past seven to 10 days, happened after AMD announced two new computer chip projects that have gotten the attention of industry analysts and investors.
AMD has been riding high for the past 18 months thanks to its much-improved earnings reports and the successful launch of its second generation of Ryzen line processors. AMD said earlier this month that it will debut the second generation of its high-end Ryzen Threadripper desktop processors by the end of the year and follow that up with second-generation Epyc processors in 2019.
Both product lines have created positive buzz for the company, and industry experts say they it will help AMD compete with larger rivals Intel and Nvidia.
AMD is formally based in Santa Clara, Calif., but runs the majority of its operations out of Austin.
“Wall Street is finally seeing the opportunity (in AMD),” said industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategy. “AMD is doing what it said it was going to do. They have been executing, and the recognition caught up with them.”
AMD has long been known for its niche in building computer chips focused on the gaming industry.
AMD says the Threadripper processors will be a faster, more efficient version of its first generation Zen architecture. AMD said the same could be expected with its Epyc processors, which the company has codenamed “Rome.” AMD said those will be tested and sampled by the end of the year, with a release scheduled for next year.
Both products are being developed under AMD’s Zen architecture, and AMD has not yet revealed the price range of the chips.
AMD has been making a lot of moves in the past year or so.
It began when the company released its well-received first generation of Ryzen desktop processors in early 2017. Strong sales of the first Ryzen line led AMD to report in January $43 million in profit during 2017, a year after it lost $497 million.
The company followed that performance with the launch of its second generation Ryzen line in April, which industry analysts welcomed as a faster, more productive version of the first Ryzen chip line. That same month, AMD reported a quarterly profit of $81 million, compared to a loss of $33 million from the same quarter a year ago.
AMD’s latest processor offerings have been seen by some experts as a comparable but cheaper line than those offered by Intel. While Intel remains much larger, AMD has made up ground after years of stale performances, Moorhead said.
“When it comes to processors, they are eclipsing Intel, although Intel is much wider (than AMD) in operations,” He said. “The challenge is that AMD’s architecture is for mid-market. They compete well in the $240 range and below, but it’s hard for them to scale up.”
The company said moving forward, it’s focused on executing its upcoming projects at the same strength as its latest line of chips.
“We have made significant progress on our strategy to transform AMD into a high-performance computing leader,” AMD spokesman Gary Silcott said by email. “We are confident that we have the right long-term strategy to continue growing as we focus on … our products in the gaming, data center, machine learning, and artificial intelligence markets.”