As 2020 comes to an end, it’s hard not to have a look at the last decade and realize how much the landscape of the semiconductor industry has really changed. Apple has moved onto making its own silicon, RISC-based designs are gaining (mild) popularity and most importantly, the x86 market has seen a major change in design leadership.
Over the last four years, Intel’s shares have largely remained stagnant showing an increase of less than 50%. AMD, on the other hand, has made massive strides going from just a couple of dollars to $80+ in less than five years. That’s a 1,000% increase over a period of 4 four years.
This change is the result of many factors, but most importantly is outlined the adoption of a third-party foundries and an MCM (chiplet) design by AMD while Intel continues to work with a monolithic design, despite the core count in the consumer space exceeding 12 cores. Combine that with a slowdown in Moore’s Law, 14nm shortages and poor 10nm yields and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.
While the battle is still far from over, the future seems rather bright for AMD, with Intel still left with many chances to recover thanks to its vast cash reserves and market share. As per estimates, Intel is expected to move to outsource 80% of its chips by 2026. While 80% may seem a bit too much, keep in mind that 2026 is still five years away. A lot can change in that time-frame. Just five years back, Intel was the undisputed industry leader in the microprocessor space with its 14nm Skylake core. Then it decided to take a nap.