AMD’s recently launched Ryzen Pro 6000 series aims to be an Intel Alder Lake-killer -- promising better performance and better battery life to power commercial notebooks. Matthew Unangst, senior director of AMD’s commercial client and workstation business, says the new chips give the Santa Clara, Calif. chipmaker an edge over rivals in the commercial space.
“Our users and customers don’t have to make a choice between high performance and battery life,” Unangst said during a press briefing at launch. “We’re delivering both and we’re the only one in the market that is able to do that today.”
The Ryzen Pro 6000 will power new machines from Lenovo, HP, and other manufactures in upcoming releases. The line is broken into two series: the H-series for higher-end laptops and the U-series for thinner and generally less powerful machines. There are eight new chips altogether with varying degrees of performance. The Ryzen chips are the first to feature Microsoft Pluton security baked in.
The new CPUs boast up to eight cores and achieve speeds of up to 3.3GHz. Unangst told CRN US that firepower can be used by channel partners to promote a slew of new products: “I’m very confident that you’re going to see many of these platforms available not only to the enterprise customers but also in the channel markets, especially as we work through the balance of the year,” he said.
Unangst said the company is happy with the response to the new lines and thinks channel business will be strong.
Here’s what else he had to say.
How is the Ryzen Pro 6000 release going so far?
I think the response we’ve seen from customers, partners and the press overall has been very positive. The things that we see resonating well is the leadership story specifically in commercial notebooks. And then there’s the battery life story, which is really exceptionally strong. That’s been the other area that we’ve seen really good feedback.
These are your first releases featuring Microsoft Pluton (security solution). How is that going so far? Has that been well received?
I would say that the reception on that is positive overall. People have a lot of questions about it. They want to understand how that fits into the overall security strategy we have. And I look at Pluton as one of the multiple pieces around our total security solution. And so when we think about Pluton, it’s a great example of how we have worked with Microsoft to innovate in the security space. But just like with anything in security, it’s not the only security story. It’s part of the broader security story. As we’ve talked with partners, they see it as a piece of the security solution that includes AMD, but also Microsoft at a holistic level around their OS security and support for both Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Let’s talk about the supply chain. How is AMD dealing with being impacted by the recent COVID-19 lockdowns in China?
If we step back and look at the market holistically, the industry as a whole is still working through a lot of challenges. Many of the factories in China are still working through the challenges, particularly the logistics challenges – that’s the way it’s impacting us in the big picture. It’s pretty manageable and we’re working very closely with our OEM partners to ensure that our platforms stay on schedule. We’re working with them very closely to ensure that all components are there to support their forecasts and demand for the product. It’s creating a challenge, no question. But it’s an issue that we work very closely with our customers to continue to manage and stay in front of.
Why should channel partners push the Ryzen product over Intel’s competing business lines?
If I look at it through the eyes of a channel partner, part of what they try to do is deliver the best business solutions to their customers. Often, our channel partners will not only sell the PC, but they’ll sell the peripherals or services. And for them, it’s all about making sure their customers have the best business solutions. What does that mean from an AMD perspective? Well, it means that they want to deliver the best technology, the best laptops, the best desktops, to their customers. If you look at our latest Ryzen 6000 class product, it really delivers the best performance, the best battery life, the best total solution for a business user. So as we think about a business user, they want a really responsive great experience on common applications around Office or Microsoft Teams or Zoom. They don’t want to sacrifice battery life and real-world applications. They wanted a device that is lightweight, cool to the touch and quiet. That combination of capabilities is a space that AMD uniquely is able to deliver on with Ryzen 6000 class of products. There’s a strong incentive, and a strong justification and desire from the channel partners to continue to work with us in that space.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’re facing?
A lot of our challenges honestly have been similar to what I think a lot of businesses are going through – we’re certainly continuing to work through the shift back to a hybrid work environment. That impacts us within our own company, but it also means that our customers are looking for new and different devices. And that’s been an area that I see is causing IT departments to rethink what they need in terms of platforms and solutions. We’ve had to work thought a lot of those issues, but we’ve made really good progress and have really good partnerships to work through most of the challenges.
Is there some concern with some of the new reports coming out showing the PC market softening overall?
When we see those reports, we take them very seriously. We kind of monitor that situation ourselves. On the commercial side, we continue to see strong demand for our products. And the underlying health of business seems to be strong. The combination of Windows 11 driving a refresh opportunity along with the shift back to the hybrid work environment, we expect that we’re going to continue to see strong demand for our products moving forward. There’s a lot going on in the world right now. But we feel confident about where the business is.
What can we expect to see in the next couple of quarters?
Our engagement with our customers at this point is the strongest it’s ever been and we’re very focused right now on getting our Ryzen 6000 platforms ramped up in the market and driving adoption of those. I’m feeling very confident about that front. Everything we’re doing is very focused on delivering leadership products, leadership solutions to the market. And that is an area that we continue to engage very closely with our customers and with our partners like Microsoft. As I look at our business right now, I’m very, very excited about the capabilities of our products. To us, the commercial business is a top priority and it’s an area we can deliver leadership and high-performing products in that space. It’s critically important as we continue to expand our product portfolio. We continue to feel very confident about where we’re at right now.