In a statement available everywhere but not at AMD’s own web-site, Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker revealed that market share its AMD Opteron processors command has increased significantly during the second quarter of the year, citing the most-recent figures from market research company Mercury Research.
Share of Advanced Micro Devices in the x86 server processor market grew 51% in the Q2 2005, from 7.4% to 11.2%, according to Mercury’s figures. This is the first time AMD manages to surpass the 10% barrier in the server market, where the most expensive and lucrative processors are sold. The figures are proclaimed by various media to be released by AMD, something which the company has never done before; this probably marks the fact that going beyond 10% is a significant milestone for AMD, whose share was close to zero some four years ago.
Earlier this month AMD reported record microprocessor sales and said that the increase in AMD Opteron shipments was conditioned by strong demand for dual-core microprocessors as well as overall acceptance of the AMD64 platform by enterprise customers. Strong dual-core AMD Opteron processor sales contributed to an 89% revenue increase in the company’s server products from the prior quarter.
Analyst Dean McCarron of Mercury Research believes that AMD’s increased share indicated that certain of its customers ordered more AMD Opteron products last quarter than before, which resulted in unit shipments growth. Currently it is unclear whether AMD’s largest server clients – HP and Sun – were successful in selling AMD Opteron boxes, or all of AMD Opteron-based system builders saw demand for AMD64 platforms picking up.
Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of microprocessors, recently confirmed that during the Q2 of its fiscal 2005 (Intel’s fiscal year quarters are nearly aligned with calendar quarters) its Intel Xeon server processors experienced “price pressure”, which contributed, among other factors, to 3% drop in gross margin and 3% in average selling price (ASP).
“There was a quarter-to-quarter decline in ASPs. I would say probably [they were conditioned by] half Xbox [processor sales increases], half computing [products]. If you look at the computing half, there is a variety. We do have price pressure in the server space right now. But also keep in mind: as mobile space is exploding, mobile Celeron [M] is exploding, it’s not the same ASP as the Centrino platform,” said Andy D. Bryant, Intel Chief Financial Officer.