Intel To Fire Back At AMD & Their Growing Server Market Share With The Ice Lake Processors


Intel has always been the dominant force in the server CPU market and that hasn't changed, but companies around them are making strides in shrinking Intel's huge market share. AMD has increased its market share of the server CPU market and wants to continue to increase it with its EPYC lineup. Intel has not gone silent as they have with Ryzen and has responded with the Ice Lake platform.

AMD Has Gained x86 Server Market Share, But Intel Still Reigns Supreme With A 92% Market Share

According to TrendForce, the x86 architecture has remained the mainstream server architecture at the end of 2020 and Intel dominates the market with a 92% market share, but AMD has been challenging Intel. AMD has grown to encapsulate 8% which is a 3% increase compared to Q4 of 2019.

AMD EPYC Roadmap Confirms Zen 4 Powered Genoa-X & Siena & Zen 5 Powered Turin Server CPU Families

TrendForce predicts that there will be a 21% increase in server chip shipments quarter on quarter in Q2 of 2021 due mostly in part to the Ice Lake platform. Another area of growth identified by TrendForce was edge computing where ARMv8 solutions have been taking market share and are expected to hold a respectable share in the low power edge computing market by 2023-2025.

Intel expects 40% of CPU shipments to be Whitley Ice Lake CPUs in Q4 of 2021 and a select few datacenter clients have received CPUs. The rest of Intel's clients will have to wait until Q2 of 2021 to start receiving Ice Lake CPUs. The Ice Lake CPUs are the first server chips to support PCIe Gen 4 support. Although not much now other SSDs take advantage of PCIe 4.0 support, we expect to see Intel add new products to the ecosystem that take advantage of it. So far only the 2nd gen Optane SSDs take advantage of PCIe 4.0.

The Whitley platform allows for the Ice Lake CPUs to support the fastest standard of DDR4 RAM. Thus, it increases the data transfer rate (MT/s) and the maximum capacity of DRAM supported per CPU. This closes the gap between Intel server solution offerings and AMD's Rome server chips. The Milan platform won't be changing too much in regards to memory so it won't be fueling advancements in bit demand. AMD offerings are still slightly better than Intel's in terms of pricing and performance.

As for future generations, PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 are both in the works. The Eagle Stream platform from Intel will feature PCIe Gen 5 support and DDR5 and will enter mass production in 2022. AMD will also have the Genoa platform enter mass production in 2022 which also uses DDR5 and supports PCIe Gen 5.