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The Year Ahead in Processors: Page 2 of 2

The movement to put AI and other processing options on the network edge requires more processing power, and chip makers are delivering. By James E. Gaskin

And if you've been having trouble getting Intel products, says McGregor, next year should be better. "Fab 42 will be in production by mid-year and add capacity." Supply problems have let AMD take over some market share, so more capacity from Intel may slow or reverse that trend.

On the smaller side, two products without Intel are in Microsoft's new Surface catalog. The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 has a custom AMD Ryzen processor in the 15-inch model, while the Surface Pro X uses the new ARM SQ1 processor, an optimized Snapdragon 855, co-engineered by Microsoft with Qualcomm. Intel processors remain in the other Surface models.

Good Choices

What does all this mean for resellers? "Buyers will have good choices everywhere," says Enderle. "Intel's Lakefield family looks good on paper and will compete with Qualcomm's Snapdragon." Samsung, in fact, plans to use Lakefield chips in a forthcoming version of its Galaxy Book S laptop. "This is another example of how the market is better when all the vendors are competitive," Enderle adds.

Rob Enderle

"The biggest opportunities are in the network and the cloud as cellular network providers need custom processors for base stations," says McGregor. In the past, base stations just routed packets, but now the movement to put AI and other processing options on the network edge means more processing power is needed.

McGregor's advice is to "look for differentiation in the market. Provide more than just a box—provide a solution." AI projects need customization, since no two AI workloads are the same.

No matter the chip advances, says McGregor, we're still behind. "The amount of data to be processed keeps increasing exponentially."

Image: iStock

About the Author

James E. Gaskin's picture

JAMES E. GASKIN is a ChannelPro contributing editor and former reseller based in Dallas.

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