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AMD shares timing for Ryzen 3, mobile chips and Vega GPUs

AMD's Ryzen chips are off to a strong start in desktops, and more chips are coming in the second half of this year.

New chips for desktops, called Ryzen 3, will come in the earlier part of the second half, while Ryzen mobile chips -- code-named Raven Ridge -- will come out around the end-of-year holiday season.

AMD CEO Lisa Su shared the release schedule during a first-quarter earnings call on Monday. She also said top PC makers will launch desktops with the already shipping Ryzen 5 and 7 chips later this quarter.

The Ryzen 3 is expected to be for low-end desktops, while the Ryzen 5 and 7 chips are faster. Late last week, Acer announced its Aspire GX desktop with Ryzen chip options.

In the coming months, AMD will also launch Vega GPUs for the gaming, professional workstation and data center markets. Some Vega GPUs will launch this quarter.

Vega GPUs will be priced higher than Polaris, the existing GPU architecture, because of advanced technologies, Su said.

The Vega GPUs will have a new memory subsystem, a faster computing engine and a "new geometry pipeline to dramatically improve performance and energy efficiency for the next generation of GPU workloads," Su said.

The Ryzen launch dominated much of the earnings call. Ryzen was AMD's first big new chip design in more than a decade, and it opened to good reviews. After a string of failed chips, a strong Ryzen launch was critical for AMD.

Ryzen chips first shipped in March, and the demand from home PC builders was strong. There was a temporary slowdown as motherboard shipments were constrained, but the supply went back to normal after a few weeks. Large PC makers will announce Ryzen-based desktops this quarter.

AMD's goal with Ryzen is to get Intel fans to switch. It's not clear that it's succeeded yet, but competition may soon drive down Intel's prices. Intel last week said it is expecting a slight decline in its chip prices, which analysts attributed partly to Ryzen.

AMD also hopes its users of its own chips, like the A-series, FX and Athlon, move up to the more expensive (and profitable) Ryzen. That transition could last well into next year, Su said.

But AMD won't get rid of its legacy chips. Chips like Athlon and FX are still popular in some countries, so The move to newer architectures in some countries will be slower, Su said.

Ryzen chips are competing with Intel's 7th Generation Core processors, code-named Kaby Lake, and later will go up against the 8th Generation Core processors, due later this year.

On a GAAP basis, AMD reported first-quarter revenue of $984 million, up from $832 million in the same quarter last year. Quarterly net loss was $73 million, compared with a net loss of $109 million a year earlier. 

IDG Insider

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