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Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD): 3 Things We Learned at CES 2018


The 2018 CES show- aka the biggest tech show on earth- has just wrapped up in Las Vegas. The world’s biggest and smallest tech companies have now unveiled all their hottest and most futuristic products. One of these companies was semiconductor giant Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD). AMD gave a presentation where it revealed a whole host of new product innovations (mostly for client CPUs and GPUs) as well as updates to its overall strategy.

Here we take a closer look at the top three things we learnt about the company from CES. Let’s delve in:

Mobile APU

AMD has finally resolved a key outstanding issue (and caught up with Intel) with its product lineup and launched the Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 mobile APU chips in Q4. It further boosted this line up with the announcement at CES of lower-end Ryzen 3 parts. The result: the company now provides all the mobile chips required for consumer laptops.

Plus, in Q2 of this year, AMD plans to take this one step further with the Ryzen PRO version for commercial customers. The AMD Ryzen Mobile Processor (with Vega Graphics) have the following specs: for the Ryzen 3 2300U 3.4 GHz/ 2.0 GHz, 4 Cores, 4 Threads and 6 CUs. Meanwhile the Ryzen 3 2200U will have 3.4 GHz/2.5 GHz, just 2 Cores, 4 Threads and 3 CUs.

The most exciting part for investors is that these laptops are set to outshine rival Intel- in terms of power and performance at every price point- for the first time in a very long time. “If you look at our Ryzen product line, for example, at every price point we offer more threads, more multithreaded performance” AMD CEO Lisa Su told Yahoo Finance during CES. She added “Our goal is to make sure that we provide step-function improvements for our customers.”

Note that AMD also intends to boost its desktop offering by launching the equivalent Ryzen 5 and lower-end Ryzen 3 APU desktop products on February 12. These products will offer very competitive price/ performance metrics. Namely the Ryzen 5 2400G offers 65W TDP for $169 whereas you have Intel’s Core i5-8400 at $199 and for the same performance you would actually need both Intel’s Core + Nvidia’s GT 1030 for $199 + $89 for 65W TDP/ 30W TDP.

Ryzen Updates – Watch out Intel

Big news- AMD plans to launch the Ryzen second generation high performance CPU in April. This will have a second-generation Zen core and be based on Global Foundries 12nm process. And the best part for investors is that AMD is confident that this will give the new chips (which apparently are already being sampled) a 10% advantage over the 14nm first generation chips. The move effectively enables the company to make its moves on larger competitor Intel’s market share. Meanwhile, AMD has now reported that it has completed the Zen2 design on the next generation 7nm process. Intel’s problems with the 10nm process further highlight how striking AMD’s news really is.

Vega Updates – Watch out Nvidia

AMD put its problematic Vega graphics card launch firmly to one side. The company has now revealed revamped desktop versions as well as the Radeon Vega Mobile Discrete GPU. The Mobile Vega boasts ultrathin workstations and performance gaming with 1.7mm Z height and HBM2. With this new product, AMD has a chance of taking market share from rival Nvidia in the discrete graphics high-end laptop space. At the same time, AMD announced a Radeon Instinct Veda based on 7 nm technology for machine learning.

We can see from TipRanks that overall analysts have a cautious outlook towards AMD. In the last three months, this stock has received 7 buy ratings, 7 hold ratings and even 4 sell ratings. However, the average analyst price target of $15 suggests relatively big upside potential of close to 24% from the current share price.

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