AMD bets on AI-powered PCs as tech race with Nvidia and Intel heats up

SHANGHAI, CHINA – JULY 28, 2023 – Photo taken on July 28, 2023 shows the AMD logo at the 2023 ChinaJoy in Shanghai, China.

CFOTO | Future Publishing | Getty Images

U.S. chip giant Advanced Micro Devices is betting on AI PCs to take on rivals including Nvidia and Intel as the AI race heats up.

“[The market for] AI PCs is going to continue to expand,” said Victor Peng, president of AMD, in an exclusive interview with CNBC on Thursday. He added that the firm expects more adoption of AI PCs in the second half of the year.

These are personal computers embedded with processors specifically designed to perform AI functions such as real-time language translation.

Tech research firm Canalys in a December report said the boom in generative AI is expected to boost PC sales as consumers are seeking devices with AI features, predicting that 60% of the PCs shipped in 2027 will be AI-capable.

An explosion of interest in AI was sparked by the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022 as the chatbot went viral for its ability to generate human-like responses to users’ prompts.

HP president and CEO Enrique Lores said on the fourth-quarter earnings call in November that the firm was “really excited about the impact that AI PCs are going to have in the overall PC category” but it would “take some time” before it penetrates deep into the market.

Initially, AI-powered devices would be targeted at some segments of the enterprise PC market, but more use cases and cost reductions could spread their deployment to the broader market over time, according to research firm International Data Corporation.

IDC expects the integration of AI capabilities into PCs to serve as a catalyst for upgrades, hitting shelves this year.

“We are seeing AI PCs becoming a bigger factor, and we have a good lead in AI PCs with the recent announcements … I think we’re extremely well positioned, both in AI and in other traditional businesses,” said Peng.

AMD in January announced Ryzen 8000G Series desktop processors — users can “expect immense power and dominant performance for intensive workloads including gaming and content creation.”

Stiff competition

AMD competes with the likes of Nvidia and Intel on graphics processing units, which are important for AI and high-performance computing.

Nvidia currently dominates the market for GPUs used in AI applications. The most prominent AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT run on Nvidia GPUs such as the H100 in the cloud.

In early January, Nvidia announced new GPUs for running generative AI applications on PCs. It will also provide GPUs in laptops from companies such as Acer, Dell and Lenovo, it said.

Intel in December launched Core Ultra chips to run AI programs faster. The company said the processors will power more than 230 of the world’s first AI PCs from companies including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo.

“AI is going to continue to be very big in this year and and beyond. I mean, as large as the opportunities already are, we’re still in the early innings of AI,” said Peng.

AMD in December launched new Instinct MI300X chips – graphics processors designed for large language model training – that would compete against Nvidia’s H100 chips.

“AI is not just about data center GPUs, but it’s also the servers, and we gained significant market share last year. And for servers, we expect to continue to gain market share with the MI300,” said Peng.

During the firm’s fourth-quarter earnings call, AMD’s executive vice president Jean Hu said: “We drove year-over-year revenue growth in our data center and embedded segments and successfully launched our AMD Instinct MI300 GPUs positioning us for a strong product ramp in 2024.”

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the month when AMD announced its Ryzen processor

Comments are closed.