What Intel, AMD, Nvidia Are Expected to Launch This Year

Major CPU and GPU launches are expected before the end of 2020.
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Intel's  (INTC) - Get Report, Nvidia's  (NVDA) - Get Report and especially AMD’s  (AMD) - Get Report 2020 product launches are far from over.

Here’s an overview of notable chip launches that these companies are expected to carry out between now and the end of the year.


Notebook Processors -- Intel has promised a mid-2019 reveal for Tiger Lake, the second notebook processor line to rely on its 10-nanometer (10nm) manufacturing process node. Relative to the 10nm, Ice Lake, notebook processor line that launched last year, Tiger Lake will benefit from process improvements, a new CPU core microarchitecture (codenamed Willow Cove) and much better integrated GPU performance, thanks to its use of Intel’s new Xe GPU architecture.

Server CPUs -- Though 2020 volumes aren’t known yet, Intel plans initial production shipments for its Ice Lake Xeon server CPU line -- its first 10nm server CPUs -- before year’s end. In addition to using a more advanced manufacturing process than Intel’s 14nm, Cascade Lake, Xeon CPUs, Ice Lake will rely on a more advanced CPU core microarchitecture and provide memory bandwidth and I/O connectivity improvements.


Gaming GPUs -- AMD is prepping a gaming GPU line based on a next-gen architecture (known as RDNA 2) that’s promised to deliver a 50% improvement in performance per watt relative to the RDNA-architecture GPUs launched in 2019 and 2020. The GPU line is expected to include a high-end product codenamed Big Navi -- recent comments from AMD suggest it could be unveiled in September -- and (like Nvidia’s high-end gaming GPUs) support real-time ray tracing.

RDNA 2-based GPUs will -- along with CPUs based on AMD’s Zen 2 microarchitecture -- also go into the processors set to power Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5.

A Server GPU - AMD plans to launch a server GPU later this year that’s based on a new architecture (known as CDNA) optimized for AI/deep learning and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads, and which (like many of Nvidia’s GPUs) feature dedicated circuitry for handling deep learning operations.

Desktop CPUs - In March, AMD confirmed that it plans to launch its first 4th-gen Ryzen PC CPUs before year’s end. These products, which will rely on a next-gen CPU core microarchitecture known as Zen 3, are widely expected to be desktop CPUs, with Zen 3-based notebook CPUs expected to launch in 2021.

In addition, recent reports suggest that AMD might soon roll out an incremental update for its 3rd-gen Ryzen desktop CPU line, to put it on better footing against Intel’s recently-launched Comet Lake desktop CPU line.

Server CPUs -- An AMD Epyc server CPU line to rely on Zen 3 -- it’s codenamed Milan -- is also promised to ship before year’s end. Milan CPUs are promised to be socket-compatible with server platforms designed for AMD’s existing, Zen 2-based, Epyc CPUs (codenamed Rome).

All of the aforementioned products are expected to rely on Taiwan Semiconductor’s  (TSM) - Get Report 7nm process node, which is seen as competitive with Intel’s 10nm node. Some of the products might rely on a relatively advanced 7nm TSMC process known as N7+.


Gaming GPUs -- With Nvidia having just launched a 7nm flagship server GPU (the A100) based on its next-gen Ampere architecture, the launch of Nvidia’s first 7nm, Ampere-based, gaming GPUs is probably just a matter of time. Recent reports suggest Nvidia is prepping a pair of high-end, Ampere-based, gaming GPUs -- known as the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3080 Ti -- that will deliver major performance gains relative to the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti, which are based on Nvidia’s Turing architecture and launched in 2018.

Workstation GPUs -- If history is any guide, Nvidia is also likely to roll out one or more Ampere-based products for its Quadro workstation GPU line before the year is over. Nvidia’s current flagship Quadro GPU, the Turing-based Quadro RTX 8000, was launched in 2018.