The biggest US chipmakers, including Intel Corp, Nvidia Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) and Qualcomm Inc, are starting off the year by unveiling products that push further into each other’s main territories, signaling that they are girding for tough competition as semiconductor demand increases across industries.
Intel, clinging to its title of world’s largest chipmaker by revenue, on Tuesday showed off graphics chips aimed at fighting Nvidia and AMD in their area of domination.
Nvidia’s latest chips are targeted at persuading more laptop owners to choose its highly specialized graphics capabilities, and AMD touted products meant to maintain its market share gains.
Photo: Steve Marcus, Reuters
Qualcomm, the biggest maker of chips used in mobile phones, bolstered its drive to win a chunk of the personal computer market, leveraging its dominance in smartphone technology.
The flurry of announcements at the annual CES gadget show, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, highlights the shifting competitive landscape for a group of companies whose technology rules the computer and mobile phone industries.
The show is based in Las Vegas, but is mostly taking place virtually.
In an online presentation earlier in the day, Intel announced its 12th-generation Core mobile processors, including 28 new models that are as much as 40 percent faster than their predecessors.
Crucially, new Arc graphics chips are being shipped to PC makers, including Acer Inc (宏碁), Dell Technologies Inc and HP Inc, which are to use them in upcoming machines aimed at gamers, it said.
The Arc chips are Intel’s attempt to cut into the dominance of Nvidia and AMD in high-end graphics. More laptops are using add-in graphics cards to bolster capabilities in gaming and content creation, which are increasingly determining customer preferences.
Intel’s chips in the past have only offered graphics built into main microprocessors, typically with less power to generate realistic images.
Nvidia countered by unveiling new graphics chips for laptops, aimed at bringing high-end gaming and artificial intelligence capabilities to the thinnest and lightest computers.
The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics processor would equip notebooks with prices starting at US$2,499, giving them better capabilities than many previous high-end desktop models, Nvidia said in a virtual presentation, adding that laptop models running on the 3070 Ti chip would start at US$1,499.
Nvidia, whose market value is larger than any other chipmaker, is rolling out new products as it works to broaden the reach of its technology into the laptop market. Most thin computers contain what is called integrated graphics, capabilities typically built into central processors from Intel or AMD.
AMD chief executive officer Lisa Su (蘇姿丰) showed off new laptop and graphics processors, meant to continue the company’s run of stealing market share from Intel.
AMD’s graphics chips have come closer in performance to Nvidia’s, but the larger company still controls the majority of the market for add-in cards for PC gamers that can cost more than US$1,000.
In one of the few remaining in-person appearances at CES, Qualcomm president and chief executive officer Cristiano Amon spoke about his commitment to bringing smartphone technology-based processors to the PC market.
He listed customers such as Microsoft Corp, Acer and Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想).
Amon also talked up his push into automotive semiconductors, unveiling chips that would help vehicles pilot themselves.
That move would put him in more direct competition with Intel’s Mobileye unit and Nvidia.
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