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AMD Expands Its GPU Presence in Mobile PC Gaming

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AMD’s Vega GPUs for notebooks

Previously in this series, we saw that Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is looking to challenge Intel (INTC) and NVIDIA (NVDA) in almost every segment of the PC market. AMD has launched Radeon graphics solutions for the professional graphics market. It has also expanded into the mobile PC market, especially gaming notebooks.

While the overall PC market is slowing, the premium ultramobile market is growing in double digits. Ultramobile devices include premium notebooks like Apple’s MacBook Air. According to Gartner, premium ultramobile sales rose 24.5% YoY (year-over-year) in 2017, and its 2018 sales are expected to increase 21.0% YoY in 2018.

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AMD’s strategy is to build custom GPUs (graphics processing units) for customers such as Apple and Intel, as well as standard GPUs for gamers. AMD is also integrating its GPUs inside its CPUs (central processing units) to develop APUs (accelerated processing units) such as Ryzen Mobile and Ryzen Pro for enterprise-class laptops and desktops.

In 4Q17, AMD launched its Vega M GPUs for mobile PC processors. It delivers desktop-like gaming performance on notebooks while consuming less power. AMD is integrating its Vega M GPUs inside the Ryzen Mobile APU. AMD also launched the Ryzen APU for desktops to target PC gaming, with the goal of beating Intel in the desktop gaming space.

AMD and Intel in partnership

On one side, AMD is competing with Intel and on the other side, it partnered with the chip giant to access a new market of mobile PC processors. Intel uses its own integrated GPUs inside its mobile PC processors. However, its GPUs can’t play graphics-intensive games. So, PC OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) add AMD’s or NVIDIA’s GPUs separately inside their notebooks to give them gaming capability.

Intel has launched its Kaby Lake i7-8809G and i7-8705G mobile processors for gaming notebooks. G stands for graphics, as the processor integrates AMD’s semi-custom Vega M GPU. As Intel is a leader in the PC CPU market, obtaining access to even one segment can generate significant sales for AMD.

Vega GPU was launched in 2017, and there have been no announcements from either of the two GPU makers—NVDIA and AMD—about next-generation GPUs or GPU upgrades. This has sparked rumors about what could be next in GPU technology for gamers.

Next, we’ll see what industry observers are saying about AMD and NVDA.

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