How much is significant?

Can AMD break through the 20% barrier?

Posted: By Jon Peddie 02.23.22

No one doubts AMD’s remarkable comeback and gains in the data center and PCs. No area has seen a greater increase in market share than in notebooks where AMD’s APU is a clear winner and commanding a 22% share of the market.

AMD’s market share gain in notebooks


AMD hit the 20% range over a year ago in Q2’20 with steady growth from 2018, but then kind of flattened out. Intel didn’t have any breakthroughs in manufacturing or processors, so one has to ask why did AMD’s market share growth asymptote? The answer may be product range. 

AMD has eight Ryzen Pro 6000, six pro 5000, twenty-four for business/productivity, and ten for entry-level and education. That’s 48 mobile processors. Intel has eight 12th gen, thirty 11th gen, and four 10th gen released since 2021, for a total of 37 mobile processors. So if the counting is accurate then it can’t be the product range that is holding AMD back. It also can’t be availability because AMD is using TSMC, and AMD seems to have all the wafers it wants. As has been reported, Intel is looking to have some CPUs made by TSMC in addition to its forthcoming GPUs.

It's doubtful Intel can beat AMD on price since it never has been, so what’s left, in an open market? And maybe that’s the answer—it’s not an open market. AMD has had battles in the courts and out about Intel’s business practices. Also, there are some very loyal customers of Intel. And even though an x86 is presumably an x86, and windows and Linux run equally well on either supplier’s CPU, there is a perception that large corporate and government users can’t take a chance and disrupt their business by swapping out Intl for AMD even if there is a performance and price gain. There are exceptions to that kind of thinking as illustrated in the HPC market. 

So AMD may face a subjective Twilight Zone barrier that it can’t penetrate. If that is the case then its growth in the fast-growing notebook market will be constrained and slow.