AMD’s Q1 earnings were nothing short of remarkable. The company managed to increase its YoY revenue by over 90%, with the operating income growing by over 200% (YoY). The Enterprise and Semi-Custom Division was the most successful on account of the PS5/Xbox Series X|S launch, and the Epyc Milan ramp up, seeing a gain of 286% in revenue and an insane 1,165% increase in the operating profits. The company CEO, Dr. Lisa Su stated that sales of the Epyc Rome and Milan CPUs doubled in the first quarter, both compared to the last quarter as well as on a yearly basis.
According to Mercury Research, AMD’s server CPU share grew by roughly 2% in Q1 2021 to approach the 10% mark for the first time in nearly 15 years. The last time the company had such a presence in the server market was back in 2006 when the 64-bit Opteron processors were launched, allowing it to reach an impressive figure of 22 points (from over 5%) in less than a couple of years. Following this success, AMD began to fade from the server scene, gradually losing share and dropping to nearly 0% by late 2014.
At the moment, AMD has a massive performance lead over Intel in the data center and server markets, especially on the higher-end with a core cont of 64. Intel meanwhile is still limited to forty cores with Ice Lake-SP, with half as many PCIe lanes and an inferior I/O. The launch of the F series Epyc processors with large chunks of L3 cache and high boost clocks have also allowed AMD to penetrate the low core segments of the server market where compute density is less important, but the lack of AI-centric features such as BF16 and matrix multiplication still means that Intel has an advantage there. The company is likely going to rectify this with Genoa (5nm Zen 4) which is expected to come with a core count of (up to) 96 and possible support for AVX512.