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AMD bolsters security, while Intel ups speed in latest chips

AMD's Ryzen 6000 series includes the Microsoft Pluton security processor, while Intel claims its Core i9-12900HK chip is the fastest mobile processor in the market.

AMD has added Microsoft's Pluton security processor to its latest Ryzen laptop chips, as rival Intel released what it called "the fastest mobile processor ever." 

AMD launched the Ryzen 6000 series and Intel rolled out its Core i9-12900HK at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. The new products will be available on laptops this year.

A standout feature in the AMD product is Microsoft Pluton. Microsoft claims the security silicon locks down data so it can't be accessed when a PC is lost or stolen. The processor is more secure than Microsoft's Trusted Platform Module used in most Windows PCs today, the company said.  

The Ryzen 6000 is the first processor to include Pluton. Microsoft uses Pluton in the Xbox One gaming console.

"The security features start to give it something that can motivate business users to move toward AMD," said Eric Hanselman, an analyst at 451 Research. 

The Ryzen 6000 series features up to eight cores, with clock speeds up to 5 GHz. The chips provide 1.3 times faster processing and 2.1 times faster graphics than the Ryzen 5000 series.  

Back of the Intel Core i9-12900HK chip
Intel has improved the performance of its Core i9-12900HK chip, while competitor AMD announced innovation in security and battery life at CES.

The new chip gives a laptop as much as 24 hours of battery life, according to AMD. However, businesses will have to check how accurate that estimate is once manufacturers start rolling out Ryzen 6000-powered laptops, said Daniel Newman, an analyst at Futurum Research.

In February, Acer, HP and Lenovo expect to release laptops featuring the latest chips.

The Ryzen 6000 processors use 30% less power for video conferencing than the Ryzen 5000 series, according to AMD. That feature could be helpful to corporate workers forced to do more video conferencing at home during the pandemic, Hanselman said.

Intel introduced 28 mobile and 22 desktop processors at CES in the H, KS, P and U series. Acer, Dell and HP plan to ship products with the chips this year.

The H series includes Intel's premiere mobile processor for gamers, the Core i9-12900HK. The twelfth-generation Core i9 runs 40% faster than the previous model. The latest processor has 14 cores, 20 threads and offers speeds up to 5GHz.

"Intel continues its introduction of industry-leading mobile performance with the launch of all-new 12th-Gen Intel Core H-series mobile processors led by the Intel Core i9-12900HK -- not only the world's best mobile gaming platform, but also the fastest mobile processor ever created," the company said in a blog post.

Intel is the largest maker of PC microprocessors, followed by AMD. In the third quarter of 2021, Intel's share of the PC chip market was 73.2%, while AMD's share was 18.2%, according to IDC.

However, AMD revenue from PC microprocessors is growing faster. From 2019 to 2020, AMD revenue increased 53.2%, compared with Intel's 4.2%, according to Gartner.

Maxim Tamarov is a news writer covering mobile and end-user computing. He previously wrote for The Daily News in Jacksonville, N.C., and the Sun Transcript in Winthrop, Mass. He can be found on Twitter at @MaximTamarov.

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