AMD's 2016 plans ensure a new hardware lineup is sure to raise their hopes - and their stocks higher than we've seen in years.
It's been a bit of a slump for AMD, everyone's favorite underdog hardware designer. Market shares have dropped, new products haven't been hitting price marks, and there has been reported losses that have drained hope from those who enjoy seeing competition in the hardware market. 2016 is going to be a change of pace, however. New deals, new pieces, and a whole host of information has surfaced.AMD Stock Jumps Over 50% in a Single DayFollowing an agreement made with Chinese officials, AMD has secured a deal to create special x86 CPUs for government buildings. This sent their stock soaring. A deal like this is impressive to most, but sadly, it hold's little over their main competitor, Intel. In 2015, AMD only had a 0.6% share of x86 chips. In the past, they held almost 30% of the same market. That said, it is hopeful that this is only a stepping stone in the proper direction. With other hardware on the way from the company, there is quite a bit riding on this year's performance.Processors on the Home Front and What They Mean To YouLater this year, it seems we will also see the next line of CPUs from AMD. These are intended to hit a higher end market, but this is good news for everyone. AMD has generally hit a spot of more value for your dollar rather than top-dog performance. With their new line codenamed "Zen," we will see performance gains across the board. Both their normal CPUs and APUs (Accelerated Processing Unit) are expected to have close to 30% gains in performance. This, with the expected pricing scheme, will allow for cheaper costs when upgrading systems as well as an extensive upgrade path once on the new hardware. The company plans to put all of the processors in the same socket pattern. This allows you to start small and move up as need be with little to no problem in the future. In a world of rapid technology growth, it's nice to see a way to improve without replacing entire systems. All in all, the take away here is if there is a need to improve your current setup at work or home a cheaper newer alternative is well on its way.Zen is expected late 2016 and early 2017 for the CPUs and APUs respectively.Graphic Options for Unmatched PricesThe final big jump for AMD's hardware lineup this year is codenamed "Polaris." Not everyone jumps with both feet into the high-end graphics cards nor do they play games for hours on end. However, AMD plans to expand the market for virtual reality with prices that are more affordable for everyone. The new line, expected to release Q3 2016, is expected to give the performance of current high-end cards (such as the Nvidia 980ti) for half the cost. This is a big jump for most people. Those running graphically intensive programs can breathe a sigh of relief. VRAM, an ever increasing number, is also highlighted here. 6GB and 8GB cards will be released that will allow for better rendering than ever before. Finally - and probably the most important thing for those who follow hardware more frequently - is power consumption and heat. AMD is promising twice the performance per watt with the new line and an undetermined, albeit lower, heat output. Together, with the additional leaps in performance, puts AMD in a sweet spot to sell more cards and allow for new systems to keep up-to-date without paying a high entry cost.AMD will be the one to watch this year. Keep an eye out for Computex at the end of May for more information on all of their hardware.(Image Source: iCLIPART)