28. September 2021 | 10:37 CET
Intel, BrainChip, AMD: A chip like the human brain
Chips are in short supply. When assembly lines in Wolfsburg, Munich or Sindelfingen come to a standstill because of a shortage of inexpensive semiconductors, it is frustrating for the German automotive industry. But powerful chips and processors with entirely new architecture are also urgently needed for future technology. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are also placing new demands on chipmakers. We profile three titles.
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ISIN: INTEL CORP. DL-_001 | US4581401001 , BRAINCHIP HOLDINGS LTD | AU000000BRN8 , ADVANCED MIC.DEV. DL-_01 | US0079031078
Intel: Solid top dog without surprises
When investors think of computer chips, the name of Intel quickly comes to mind. The reason is that the name has been around for years - as early as the beginning of the 1990s, the first home computers had a sticker with the distinctive Intel logo on them. Even today, "Intel inside" is still considered a sign of quality. Whether for processors, chipsets or memory, Intel solutions enjoy a good reputation worldwide. Now that many competitors only develop chips and outsource their production, Intel is taking a completely different approach. In the future, Intel, which owns many production sites, also wants to serve the competition.
Since chips are in short supply and are often manufactured in Asia, Intel's strategy decision strikes a chord with political decision-makers in the USA. There, even under Joe Biden, it is fashionable to be self-sufficient. Intel's production capacities outside of Asia come at just the right time. Intel benefits from many trends, such as the Internet of Things or large data centers. The stock has potential and even offers a narrow dividend.
BrainChip: Something completely new is emerging here
Far from a dividend is BrainChip, a company listed in Australia and Germany. The specialists are focusing on artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things and are taking an entirely new approach to processors. BrainChip develops chips for neural networks and has managed to design them in a very energy-saving way. In concrete terms, only a few milliwatts are needed to operate the chip. The architecture takes the human brain as its model. This architecture enables a variety of uses and also a higher standard of security than other approaches. Since all the "learning" takes place in the chip and no data is leaked to the outside, the chip, called Akida, is considered promising.
As part of an "early access program", customers can already get a glimpse of the chip's potential. The list of interested parties is long and prestigious: NASA, Ford, MagikEye, Valeo, NaNose Medical and Renesas are among the participants. The latter Company is the largest semiconductor manufacturer for the automotive industry - powerful technology around artificial intelligence and autonomous driving would strike a chord with this Company. BrainChip's stock has been volatile, moving sideways this year. Currently, the share is near year-end levels. Given the exciting technology and the scarcity in the chip market, BrainChip could become very interesting in the long term.
AMD: Innovation leader, but already expensive
Engineers at AMD have probably already taken a look at BrainChip. The world's second-largest chip manufacturer is considered to be extremely innovation-friendly. In the meantime, AMD has even overtaken Intel and is considered by experts to be the most advanced chip manufacturer. Last year, sales climbed by a whopping 45%, showing that even established players can still grow ambitiously. The upward trend in earnings also continued at the beginning of 2021. Although investors have to forgo a dividend at AMD entirely, growth is what counts here. The potential still seems to be there, despite the already ambitious valuation. Recently, however, the value consolidated somewhat.
Both AMD and Intel are well positioned and offer investors a good portion of future potential. However, the BrainChip project is even more exciting. A chip architecture that resembles the human brain, requires hardly any energy and sets high standards for data protection could be in great demand. However, the share is still relatively small and must be considered speculative compared to the big ships in the industry.