AMD is all set to release its Zen architecture, that mainly focuses on per core performance, and recent display has shown that it competes, even beats Intel’s chips in benchmarks. Introducing Simultaneous Multi-threading and built on a 14nm FinFET process. In-short they seem to have ticked all the right check-boxes this time. Will they shake the monopoly of Intel in the high-end and server market?
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AMD has been an underdog to Intel for more than a decade, bearing a series of massive losses and bad publicity. There was a time when AMD used to compete Intel in both speed and price, that time hasn’t come in more than a decade. What went wrong along the way?
Pick any magazine from 2003 and it would say how AMD Athlon 64 is ahead of anything that Intel had to offer at that time, even in server market AMD was beating Intel with their Optron parts. But soon, Intel, struggling at that time made some right decisions that played a decisive part in their victory. Intel’s core architecture resulted in a fast, efficient and cool processor. Intel topped it up with their marketing strategy- The Centrino bundle(consisted of a Pentium M processor, Intel chipset and wireless adaptors), and the tick-tock strategy.
AMD, continued to improve their product, but lost its focus. working on multiple projects simultaneously, AMD couldn’t push any worthy chip out of its stable. Also, the acquisition of ATI technologies, a Canadian company, pioneer in graphics, didn’t went well for AMD. The two companies never integrated well, They always remained two. Which led to delays in future like ‘fusion‘ chips. ATI was bought with a vision of integrated graphics in a processor, graphics that were better than what Intel had to offer, but the internal issues of the company took its toll.
Intel never looked back after that, the core architecture had won, but that wasn’t enough, Intel had to keep the crown to itself. They came up with the Tick-Tock strategy, ‘Tick‘ represented shrinkage of manufacturing process and ‘tock‘ stood for architectural changes in die on the previously proven manufacturing process. This was a series of aggressive and timid blows to the already stumbling AMD. Intel recently retired their tick tock model in favour of a three stage model due to longer times in upgrading manufacturing facilities to the 10nm and below manufacturing process. Hence slowing down on the real upgrades.
AMD on the other hand is finally back on the track, all set with a new architecture and is betting high on their new lineup and their pricing tells us that they’re not afraid of Intel anymore. Zen is just around the corner and we’re about to witness another battle of the Arch-Rivals.
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