AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su: Interview on 2021 Demand, Supply, Tariffs, Xilinx, and EPYC - AnandTech
Jan 12, 2021 3 mins, 43 secs
Given that the company launched a number of products just as the previous year ended, and supply issues are tight for end-users, there were opportunities to quiz the CEO on production demand against supply, AMD’s product cadence, and expectations for 2021.

Topics on the front of mind were AMD’s announcements that had just come through the wire – the new Ryzen 5000 Mobile family, featuring an updated processor core, as well as target markets for gaming ultraportables as well as the best gaming notebooks AMD has ever been in.

There was also a brief preview of AMD’s interplay in the enterprise market with next-generation Milan processors, and a tie in with the Mercedes AMG Formula 1 team, given that AMD provides a technical partnership.

It’s a question I have asked Lisa before, as well as AMD CTO Mark Papermaster, however this position of the market now is very different.

Lisa states that AMD at any time has its semi-custom division to take on these opportunities, although when asked if AMD has any semi-custom enterprise partners, Lisa cited the strong work the company is doing with the console market and spoke more to potential than a specific entity.

M1 is a clear building block for the company to move forward into desktops, workstations, and potentially the enterprise market.

When asked if this high demand environment and capacity ceiling would potentially cap AMD at 22% market share, Lisa said that AMD doesn’t believe that it will.

There will be tightness in the first half of the year, but alongside consumers we also ship to OEM partners.

On top of all that, AMD had to build its new Ryzen 5000 Mobile processors to meet notebook demand in Q1 2021.

Lisa Su: ‘One of the things that was important with Cezanne (Ryzen 5000 Mobile) is that we were shipping for production in early 2021.

It’s nothing fundamental, it’s not design limited, it’s all about making the right bets (sometimes months in advance) and enabling market estimation of demand.  We had to enable millions of console APUs as well, and there is higher demand than we thought here as well.

Lisa spoke to AMD’s strategy here for keeping prices lower than usual, but explained it’s not an immediately solvable solution.

The topic came up that perhaps current 8-core on mobile, 16-core on desktop, and 64-core on enterprise were fundamental functional limits for these markets, in light of this round of products having the same core counts as the previous generations.

The last topic was on AMD’s business value, especially as it relates to how AMD integrates with its OEM partners and business customers.

Lisa cited that growing the commercial and enterprise businesses were key targets for the company in 2021, especially as these are areas where AMD sees an opportunity for sizeable sustainable growth.

Specifically Lisa was asked about how AMD’s strategy is going to develop based on recent improvements made from the competition.

Lisa Su: ‘For our Ryzen 5000 Mobile parts, we’ve stated that we will have 150+ design wins in 2021, which is 50% more than what we saw with Ryzen 4000 Mobile.

In Q4 last year, AMD launched Ryzen 5000 for desktops, Radeon RX 6000 discrete graphics, was the silicon partner for the two major consoles that have sold in their millions, was shipping out EPYC Milan processors to customers, and was starting to build Ryzen 5000 Mobile processors for its OEMs to be ready for a Q1 launch

In the first half of this year AMD is expecting to launch its 3rd Gen EPYC, the next generation of Radeon mobile graphics, more discrete graphics options, and we will see the deployment of Ryzen 5000 Mobile laptops and notebooks into the ecosystem

If we combine Q4 with Q1 (and Q2), this is all at a time when AMD is experiencing higher-than-expected demand for its product line, and it appears it needs to order more from TSMC (as well as develop its substrate supply chain) in order to enable this

An order from TSMC might take a few months to come through, and so even with orders in place, AMD expects a tight supply through the first half of the year, but doesn’t see this as a theoretical ceiling on its market share numbers

As solutions built on Arm come to market, as well as AMD’s own, you can be sure to read about here at AnandTech

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