Intel and AMD reign supreme in record server market in 2021


  • Intel’s Ice Lake and AMD’s Milan processors to be widely adopted in the server market in Q3 2021
  • AMD Expected to Achieve 15% Share of Server Market Next Year
  • While the ARM architecture is slowly gaining in popularity, most ARM chips are made to order due to the relatively small scale of customer demand.

The start of 2021 has been absolutely huge for Advanced Micro Devices, Inc (AMD) and Intel Corporation. Between January and March alone, the largest annual increase in processor shipments in a quarter century was recorded, just after the last moments of 2020 in terms of gross volume. Market watchers estimate that Intel and AMD will potentially have an exceptional year and a half in the server market.

A Trendforce market research report noted that Intel’s Ice Lake and AMD’s Milan processors are expected to begin wide adoption in the server market in the third quarter of 2021. The report shows Ice Lake as an “improvement in computing performance” over previous generations, mainly because of its high scalability and support for more memory channels.

This, combined with the post-pandemic recovery, is leading Trendforce to conclude that Ice Lake’s market share could exceed 30% by the fourth quarter of 2021. On top of that, Intel and AMD have new entrants on the market. server platform. Intel’s Eagle Stream volume ramp-up is slated for Q2 2022, while AMD’s equivalent – Genoa – is expected to go into mass production “on a similar schedule,” the report said.

On the other hand, Arm Ltd. with its custom chip system, can only expect a 3% market share, as Trendforce does not expect it to be a serious competitor to Intel and AMD until 2023. enjoying the largest market share .

Mercury research found that AMD had its largest single-quarter market share increase in the server market since 2006, growing 1.8 percentage points, taking the company to 8.9%, bringing it has helped generate record revenue as it steals more sockets from Intel. These market share gains are isolated, however, as AMD lost market share in the laptop segment and overall market share while remaining stable in desktop PC chips.

In addition, the first three months of the year saw Intel and AMD set records for the number of units shipped and revenue in the quarter for mobile chips.

Rising demand

Since AMD moved most of its server offerings to 7nm processors and 7nm + nodesTrendforce said it was paying off. “Some” of its customers have gradually accepted the new products, but with ARM and RISC-based processors currently being built to order, Trendforce does not expect ARM processors to become very competitive with x86 processors in the desktop market. servers before a year and a half.

Even AMD’s server processors manufactured at the 14nm node level and below have the competitive edge in terms of value for money, number of cores, and interface support. “In addition, after progressing to the 7nm node, these processors have gradually been adopted by various public cloud service providers, including Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and Tencent, throughout 2021 ”, adds the report.

For context, AMD processors have currently exceeded a penetration rate of 10% in the servers of these three CSPs. Going forward, Trendforce said AMD will begin entering 5nm node wafers at the end of 2021 to further optimize the cost, power consumption, and performance of its processors. TrendForce therefore expects AMD processors to achieve a 15% share of the global server market by 2022.

In addition to this, the emergence of applications related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data, will see the construction of data centers continue to grow. “Additionally, the demand for more cloud storage capacity has grown dramatically due to the increasingly rapid digital transformation efforts of businesses in the post-pandemic world,” Trendforce said.

At the same time, the increase in the number of processor cores has led to increasing computing performance through memory optimization to become a significant issue, the report says. Trendforce said that Eagle Stream can resolve this bottleneck, extending support to PCIe G5 for SSD interface technology.

“Compared to its predecessor, the PCIe G5 offers twice the data transfer rate. Therefore, hyperscalers are eager to adopt SSDs based on this standard. When it comes to DRAM, Eagle Stream and Genoa are extending support for next-generation DDR5 server DRAM, which offers a faster data transfer rate, making these new server processors superior to Ice Lake at all respects.

The research company pointed out that the NAND Flash and DRAM vendors plan to begin mass production of PCIe G5 SSDs and DDR5 RDIMMs by the end of the second quarter of 2022, in anticipation of the demand generated by the release of the Eagle Stream and Genoa platforms for these next generation platforms. some products.

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