AMD has been steadily gaining datacenter CPU market share since 2017 — when it launched its EPYC processor for servers — and is expected to command over 20% of shipments this year, according to DigiTimes Research. Meanwhile, various developers of Arm-based system-on-chips (SoC) for datacenters are projected to occupy around 8% of the market. While Intel will maintain the lead, its share will decline significantly.
AMD Is Gaining Share
There are several factors that will allow AMD to continue grabbing market share from Intel this year, according to Frank Kung from DigiTimes Research. These include higher core count of AMD’s latest EPYC processors compared to range-topping Intel’s Xeon Scalable (96 vs 60), lower prices of EPYC CPUs when compared to Intel Xeon Scalable products with similar core count, and better supply of AMD’s latest EPYC CPUs made at TSMC when compared to Intel’s Xeon Scalable produced in house.
Although not mentioned directly by DigiTimes Research, there are two other major factors driving adoption of AMD’s EPYC platform: introduction of new processors without major delays and better performance compared to the latest offerings from Intel as the latter arrived considerably later than they were supposed to.
Late last year AMD introduced its EPYC ‘Genoa’ processors with up to 96 cores based on the Zen 4 microarchitecture for mainstream servers and this platform will ramp up gradually in 2023. Later this year the company plans to release its EPYC ‘Bergamo’ CPUs with up to 128 cores featuring the Zen 4c architecture for cloud datacenters, which will further improve positions of AMD as Intel is only set to ship its Sierra Forest CPUs for cloud workloads in 2024. Also, AMD plans to introduce its EPYC ‘Siena’ processors for communications market this year.
Arm Is Getting Stronger
There is a fundamental headwind for Arm-based SoCs when it comes to gaining server market share — software compatibility. Performance wise, these SoCs can compete against x86 processors, but if they cannot run programs, they will not be adopted.
Nonetheless, Arm-powered SoCs from companies like Amazon, Ampere, Alibaba, and Marvell increased their share from 3.5% in 2021 to 6.8% in 2022, according to estimates by DigiTimes Research. Analysts expect such processors to command 8.1% of the server CPU market as new players (such as Nvidia) enter the scene and established players (such as Ampere) roll-out their new offerings.
Given how strong Nvidia’s compute GPUs are in AI and HPC fields, its Arm-based processors for servers are poised to grab a significant share of the market.
As Arm-based datacenter SoCs gain software compatibility with popular applications, they will also gain market share. As a result, only time will tell what market share such processors will control several years down the road. According to the analyst from DigiTimes Research, it is almost guaranteed that Arm-based SoCs will continue to gain share in datacenter and edge computing servers.