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CES 2019: Chipmaker AMD lays out new product strategies for 2019

Gaming and PCs will be at the center of new products that chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. will roll out in 2019.

During a keynote at the annual Consumer Electronics Show on Jan. 9, President and CEO Lisa Su provided details on a graphics processor and a central processing unit, both of which will be in computers and other devices worldwide by the middle of the year. Also in the pipeline is the next version of a server processor called Epyc, which will ship by the middle of this year.

AMD’s new product development approach is focused on performance enhancement, which aims to help computers operate much faster, Su said.

The strategy features new throughput mechanisms and uses the latest chip manufacturing techniques as a way to stay ahead of its much larger rival, Intel Corp.

As part of restructuring in 2015, AMD put its bets on gaming behind its Radeon graphics processors and redesigned its central processor unit to deliver more performance and consume less power.

"2019 is a key year where we see those key bets paying off," Su said.

With close to 2 billion video and esports gamers worldwide, gaming remains an important category for AMD, Su said. AMD has also supplied chips used in gaming consoles from Sony and Microsoft Corp.

The new Radeon graphics processor, called Radeon VII and the new PC chip, called Ryzen 3, will be made using the 7-nanometer manufacturing process. The 7-nanometer semiconductor manufacturing process, considered the latest, will allow AMD to cram more features on chips. Intel is making chips using the older 14-nanometer process. The nanometer chips are used in all mobile and other computing devices around the world. The nanometer technology defines the efficiency of the chips in devices.

PC makers such as HP Inc., Dell Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. are offering chips based on the existing Ryzen 2 processor. Earlier in January, AMD for the first time introduced laptops called Chromebooks running on Alphabet Inc.'s Chrome operating system. Chromebooks were previously based on processors from ARM Holdings PLC and Intel.

AMD's next-generation Epyc server processors will be its fastest to date. "Scientific researchers can do a heck of a lot more. We are trying to advance the power of computing going forward," Su said.