Facebook’s parent company, Meta, is on a mission to bring people to the metaverse – a virtual space that brings people together to do real-time activities, such as watching movies, showing a presentation, or gaming, in their 3D avatars. But that would require a colossal infrastructure, including advanced processors and data servers. Chip-making company AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) announced Meta is a customer of its data centre chips – a move that will cement the company’s position as a major rival of Intel.

At its Accelerated Data Center event, AMD showcased its new lineup of Zen 4 and EPYC processors, which the company said are powerful enough to support data centres to host potential metaverses, such as the one Meta is creating. The company showed a glimpse of its Zen 4c chipset that would power the cloud processes. Its Genoa and Bergamo processors, coming in 2022 and 2023, will bring as many as 96 cores and 128 cores per chip, respectively. Meta will use these chips to add more features and expand the metaverse, which can be accessed using headsets.

With the new cloud and data centre chipsets that the company is placing high hopes for, AMD wants to take on big rivals such as Intel and Nvidia. AMD has trailed Intel for a long time in the market for x86 processors, but after Chief Executive Officer Lisa Su staged a turnaround in the business in 2017, the company now captures a sizable portion of the market share. AMD, now, is one of the biggest manufacturers of x86 chipsets and with its latest deal with Meta, it has finally managed to erode Intel’s hold on the data centre chip market. The announcement was followed by a rally of as much as 13 per cent in AMD’s stock.

AMD’s new lineup of processors comes at a time when the industry is grappling to procure enough chipsets, one of the potential reasons behind Intel’s delay in manufacturing its future-generation chipsets. AMD’s upcoming data centre chips will allow computers to solve many simple tasks in parallel – something that will be crucial to the development of Meta’s metaverse.

AMD already has deals in place with Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, but the newly established partnership with Meta puts a larger dent in Intel’s business because all of these companies are its largest customers. AMD, led by Su, is also trying to take on Nvidia, which has a stronghold in the graphics card market that people are increasingly using to crunch data, like while mining cryptocurrencies. AMD’s new MI200 graphics processor is aimed at speeding up resource-intensive tasks and solving large data sets.


India today

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