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AMD Unveils New Laptop Chips Aimed at Bulk of PC Market

Ian King

(Bloomberg) -- Advanced Micro Devices Inc., trying to justify a meteoric stock performance last year, said its new laptop processors will eclipse the performance of offerings from rival Intel Corp.

New Ryzen 4000 U series chips are aimed at the thinnest and lightest notebooks, a lucrative market where Intel has traditionally dominated. The highest-end version will have eight cores, each one capable of handling two processing loads at the same time, a first for the market, AMD said Monday.

Chief Executive Officer Lisa Su is pitching new products at the CES technology show in Las Vegas. AMD’s stock was the best performer on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index last year, bid up almost 150% by investors who believe the company’s improved chips will help it grab market share and finally shed its status as a cheap alternative to Intel.

Santa Clara, California-based AMD closed the gap with Intel in desktop machines and server computers in 2019. Still, the bulk of product shipments by volume are laptop parts where Intel’s hold has remained more resilient, at above 80% of the market.

The first laptops featuring the 4000 U series will debut in the first quarter and AMD is predicting that more than 100 systems will go on sale in 2020. The company showed off a Lenovo Yoga model featuring the 4800 version, demonstrating that its chips are getting into more expensive machinery.

At the same event, AMD executives debuted a new desktop aimed in part at proving that the company’s technology is improving quickly and challenging Intel everywhere. The Threadripper 3990X has 64 computer cores and can count at 4.3 gigahertz. The massive chip is the first to carry these capabilities and is aimed at users working on professional workloads including video rendering. Capable of outperforming two Intel server chips, AMD said, it will cost $3,990 for a single chip when it goes on sale in February.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Molly Schuetz

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