A while back Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger claimed that the chipmaker was back in the game, and AMD is (and will continue to be) in the rear-view mirror, and never again in the windshield. Some may call these bold claims of supposedly retaining market share Intel’s newfound confidence, but as indicated by the chipmaker’s stock trends as of late, it’s not fooling anyone. For example, AMD’s Revenue from the Computing and Graphics segment increased 32% year-on-year to $2.6 billion, with Zen 3 processor shipments growing by over 10% QoQ. Similarly, AMD’s Epyc processor revenue increased by over 100% YoY, growing by double-digits quarter-over-quarter in Q4 2021.
Some analysts have gone as far as to say that “Pat Gelsinger’s recent comments of AMD ‘in the rearview mirror’ may indicate Intel is driving backward“. Considering the state of the CPU market as well as the stock market, this statement isn’t far from the truth. Intel may have regained performance leadership in the desktop market, and soon in the notebook market with Alder Lake, the high-margin server and data center markets are rapidly adopting AMD’s Epyc Milan/Milan-X processors, with 4th Gen Genoa/Bergamo only expected to accelerate the process.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Gelsinger admitted that the server market has been more hotly contested in recent years, with AMD going from less than a few percent stake in the market to around 25% in just a handful of years. He went on to compare the struggle between Intel’s Xeon and AMD’s Epyc processors to a “knife fight in a phone booth”. This may sound overly violent, but it definitely paints the right picture.
AMD’s gains in the server segment in 2021 had a significant impact on its yearly earnings report. The chipmaker’s gross margin rose to 51% (from just 31% in 2016-17). Intel, on the other hand, had a gross margin of 63% back then, a figure which plummeted to just 52% in 2021.