AMD has a strong hold on the handheld gaming market, and given the growing popularity of such consoles, it’s a good place to be. AMD’s chips power the Steam Deck, but also consoles like the Asus ROG Ele or Ayano 2S. While it’s important for AMD to continue to innovate and release newer, more powerful APUs, the latest rumors mean we won’t see its most-anticipated update until 2025 – a bigger delay than previous roadmaps. As a result, are we about to see Intel take the lead with Meteor Lake?
AMD’s plans go far beyond its current APUs, although no official release date has been confirmed for these chips yet. However, according to rumors, we’re expected to see Strix Halo and Strix Point APUs in 2024, just in time to rival Intel’s fresh Meteor Lake chips. Now, according to Moore’s Law, we may have to wait a lot longer.
According to the leaked AMD road map, Strix Point has been pushed back and will launch in mid-2024, but Strix Halo has been delayed to sometime in the first half of 2025. This is an important difference, as both were initially expected to arrive in 2024; At that point, Strix Halo could be delayed by up to a year.
Of these two architectures, Strix Point is the less exciting option, as it is a direct upgrade to the current generation Phoenix APU. However, it is said to still be offering some upgrades. The top chip in the Phoenix lineup, the Z1 Extreme, has eight Zen 4 cores and 12 RDNA 3 compute units (CUs). Strix Point 16 RDNA is a direct hike with 3.5 cu. However, it is said to feature Zen 5 cores, and will use XDNA 2 cores dedicated to AI workloads, as well as 45 trillion to 50 trillion tera operations per second (TOPS), which, again This is a good thing for AI.
Strix Halo is where it gets interesting. It is said to offer up to 16 Zen 5 cores and 40 RDNA 3.5 CUs, as well as 45 trillion to 50 trillion TOPs on the XDNA 2 AI chip. The graphics performance of such a chip could potentially rival some of the best GPUs, including desktop versions. After all, AMD’s RX 6750 XT comes with 40 CUs.
Overall, AMD’s plans for the mobile segment are extensive. Let’s not forget the Dragon Range and Fire Range, scheduled for 2024 and 2025 respectively. Those are the architectures that will power some of the best gaming laptops – they’ll likely be too power-hungry to end up in a gaming console.
Strix Halo APUs are almost bound to find their way inside some next-generation gaming handhelds, as long as their increased performance isn’t too detrimental to battery life. However, with a delay of almost a year, AMD is putting itself in quite a precarious position where it is allowing Intel to open some new doors and make some progress in a market that, until now, has been dominated by AMD alone. .
Intel definitely has some interest in portable gaming PCs, as shown by the recent Amador console. Given that Intel Meteor Lake is due to arrive in December this year, Intel will be given plenty of room to offer current generation performance, with no rivals from AMD in sight. It is not just a gaming console, but also a laptop.
If Strix Halo doesn’t come out until 2025, Intel will only have to compete against Strix Point in the integrated graphics segment, which is nothing short of a clear win for either side. However, once Strix Halo is out, Meteor Lake chips will have a hard time keeping up with Arc graphics. Additionally, by 2025, next-generation discrete graphics will be just around the corner, making these 40 graphics CUs much less impressive.
It’s a bad time for AMD to be slow, but that may be too optimistic at first, with several different mobile architectures rumored to be coming in 2024. This new road map makes more sense from a release cadence standpoint, but Intel, it’s good news all around. This gives Intel some room to shine without having to battle AMD for the spotlight.