News of new consoles is in the air. The Nintendo NX is imminent, and a PlayStation upgrade is all but guaranteed. Microsoft is said to be testing prototypes. Now word from AMD is starting to solidify some of that.
During a financial call, AMD CEO Lisa Su talked about three big “design wins” set to pull $1.5 billion in for the company in the next few years. Right now, while Intel owns the vast majority of the PC market, AMD has a total monopoly on consoles. They make the chips in the PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One, and have dropped hints that they’re to be providing the chip for Nintendo’s NX as well. It’s unlikely we’d see a shift at this point for Sony or Microsoft, but a “design win” would be referring to a new custom chip – just the kind of thing a next-gen console would use.
It’s possible the chips could be for something else, but the scale AMD is talking about is suggestive of mass consumer hardware, and consoles are the best qualifier for that in AMD’s line of work.
Not all of the chips will be shipping this year, Su said, but added that she expects the company to be “ramping that new business in the second half of the new year.” Su was careful not to say that the work being done is on consoles, but it’s hard not to make the connection. With the NX and PlayStation Neo, as it’s allegedly code-named, seemingly close on the horizon, some of this information could become clear as soon as this June when the three console makers come together for E3.