Intel, AMD and Qualcomm unveil new chips at CES

Intel, AMD and Qualcomm unveil new chips at CES

The biggest U.S. chipmakers, including Intel Corp. Nvidia Corp., Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Qualcomm Inc., are starting off 2022 by unveiling products that push further into each other s main territories, signaling they are preparing for tough competition as demand for semiconductors increases across industries.

Intel, cling to its title of the world's largest chipmaker by revenue, showed off graphics chips aimed at fighting Nvidia and AMD in their area of domination. Nvidia s latest chips are intended to persuade more laptop owners to choose its highly specialized graphics capabilities, and AMD touted products meant to maintain its market share gains.

Qualcomm, the biggest maker of mobile-phone chips, has boosted its push to win a chunk of the personal-computer market by leveraging its strength in smartphone technology.

The flurry of announcements at the annual CES technology conference in Las Vegas but mostly taking place virtually highlights the shifting competitive landscape for the group of companies whose technology rules the computer and mobile-phone industries. Intel s loss of leadership in chip-manufacturing technology exposed it to challenges from newly confident rivals in the PC market. The company's response under Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger is to defend that market and chase sales in its rivals' strongest businesses at the same time.

The fight will likely continue beyond 2022, with most analysts saying Intel will struggle to boost sales this year, compared to revenue gains forecast for the other companies.

The investors rewarded Intel's aggressive competitive posture on Tuesday. Intel shares went up by as much as 1.4%, while chip stocks fell in general. Nvidia and AMD, which were among the best performing stocks of 2021, each fell more than 5%. Qualcomm fell by as much as 2.8%.

In an online presentation earlier in the day, Intel announced its 12th generation Core mobile processors, including 28 new models that are as much as 40% faster than their predecessors. It also said that new Arc graphics chips are being shipped to PC makers, including Acer Inc., Dell Technologies Inc. and HP Inc., which will use them in upcoming machines aimed at gamers.

Intel stries to cut into the dominance of Nvidia and AMD in high-end graphics. More laptops are using add-in graphics cards to boost their gaming and content creation capabilities, which are increasingly determining customer preferences. Intel chips have only offered graphics built into main microprocessors in the past, typically with less power to generate realistic images.

Nvidia unveiled new graphics chips for laptops, designed to bring high-end gaming and artificial intelligence capabilities to the thinnest and lightest computers.

The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics processor will equip notebooks starting at $2,499, giving them better capabilities than many previous high-end desktop models, Nvidia said Tuesday in a virtual presentation. Laptop models running on the 3070 Ti chip will start at $1,499.

Nvidia, whose market value is larger than any other chipmaker, is rolling out new products as it works to expand the reach of its technology into the laptop market. Most thin computers contain integrated graphics, capabilities that are typically built into central processors from Intel or AMD.

AMD CEO Lisa Su showed off new laptop and graphics processors as part of CES, to continue the company's run of stealing market share from Intel. AMD s graphics chips have come closer in performance to Nvidia s, but the larger company still controls the majority of the market for add-in cards for PC gamers that can cost more than $1,000.

In one of the few remaining in-person appearances at CES, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon spoke about his commitment to bring smartphone technology-based processors to the PC market. He has customers such as Microsoft Corp., Acer and Lenovo.

Qualcomm s chief also talked about his push into automotive semiconductors, unveiling chips that will help cars pilot themselves. That move will put him in more direct competition with Intel's Mobileye unit and Nvidia, which is also working to make chips the brains of vehicles of the future.