Despite ARM and other newcomers, x86 continues to be the mainstream architecture for server CPUs this year, with Intel and AMD being the market leaders. According to a new study made by DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, Intel represents around 98% of the total server CPU shipments worldwide in 2018. For the next year, the market share of AMD x86 server CPUs is expected to go up to 5%, after the company’s introduction of 7nm CPUs to the market.
“Intel will remain the leader in server CPU market”, says Mark Liu, senior analyst from DRAMeXchange. “However, competitions will come from AMD, who is on pace to migrate to more advanced processes and to offer solutions with better performances and lower power consumption.” AMD’s solutions have been adopted by a small scale of cloud service providers like Baidu, Ali Cloud and AWS. “AMD may have a chance to scale up in volumes after 7nm products are launched in the future.”
AMD 7nm solutions may be released in 2H19
The survey finds that the market penetration rate of product lines based on Intel Purley Gen 1 (Sky Lake) has already reached 60% and is estimated to reach 65% at the end of 2018. In terms of product plan for the next year, Purley Gen 2 Cascade Lake will be still produced on 14nm process, the same as Gen 1. The new solution will not become the market mainstream until 2H19.
Around 70% of AMD’s product lines have been transferred to new EPYC systems this year, while the company’s Naples solutions have migrated from 28/32nm to 14nm process, with computing performance improved significantly. However, AMD takes only about 2% in the current server CPU market. This is because AMD provides mainly 1-socket solutions, and the limited offerings have constrained the company’s market expansion compared with Intel.
AMD’s new solution, Rome, will migrate to the 7nm process. The company will also switch from GlobalFoundries to TSMC for future collaboration of product development on 7nm process. Previous problems of high power consumption will also be corrected. The Rome platform server processors are expected to enter production in 1Q19 and have a chance to come onto the market in the second half of next year.
DRAMeXchange notes that the penetration of new platforms may drive the average content per box in servers. In 2019, the average density of DRAM in a server will see an annual growth of 25% YoY, significantly lower than almost 40% growth in 2018
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