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Manufacturers of x86 microprocessors shipped more central processing units and obtained higher revenues in Q3 2010 compared to the second quarter, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). The high-tech market is definitely growing, but the pace is relatively slow. Interestingly, but for the second consecutive quarter Advanced Micro Devices is gaining unit market share.

CPU Market Up 2.1% Quarter-over-Quarter, 8.6% Year-over-Year

Worldwide PC microprocessor unit shipments and revenues in the third calendar quarter of 2010 increased 2.1% and 2.5%, respectively, compared to second calendar quarter of the year, IDC claims. Compared to Q3 2009, worldwide PC microprocessor unit shipments and revenues in the third calendar quarter of 2010 increased 8.6% and 24.1%, respectively.

The average sequential change in unit shipments between a calendar year's second quarter and its third quarter is an increase of 10.6%. For revenues, the average sequential change is an increase of 9.0%. So, these increases represent lower performance than usual for a third calendar quarter.

"Market demand for processors was weak in July and in August. OEMs have become very reactive to any hint of slackening end demand. And, when they cut their PC build orders, like they did in late Q2 2010 and the first half of Q3 2010, not only did they cut their processor orders, they caused their contract manufacturers to cut orders for commodity components. The whole supply chain is skittish," said Shane Rau director of semiconductors: personal computing research at IDC.

Demand for Chips Increases in All Segments

Comparing market performance in Q3 2010 against Q2 2010 and Q3 2009 by PC form factor reveals that demand increased across the board:

  • Desktop PC processors rose 2.4%. compared to the previous quarter and 1.7% compared to the same period last year;
  • Mobile PC processor unit shipments rose 1.6% in Q3 2010 sequentially and 13.3% year-over-year;
  • Server processors rose 4.1% quarter-over-quarter and whopping 24.4% annually;

AMD Boosts Desktop, Mobile Market Shares, Loses on Server Front

For the overall worldwide PC microprocessor market in Q3 2010, Intel earned 80.4% unit market share, a loss of 0.3%, while AMD earned 19.2%, a gain of 0.2%, and Via Technologies earned 0.4%, a gain of 0.1%, according to IDC.

By form-factor the rankings in Q3 2010 were the following:

  • In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel shipped 71.8% of chips, a loss of 0.4%; AMD earned 27.8%, a gain of 0.5%, and Via supplied 0.4%.
  • Intel commanded 85.9% share in the mobile PC processor segment, a loss of 0.2%. AMD finished the quarter with 13.7% (unchanged) and Via earned 0.4%, a gain of 0.2%.
  • In the server/workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 93.7% market share, a gain of 0.2% and AMD earned 6.3%, a loss of 0.2%. 

Growth Is Slowing Down

IDC believes that the fourth quarter of 2010 will be a decent quarter, but the growth of the market is slowing down.

We reiterate that the second half of the year will be seasonal given the early build for Intel's Sandy Bridge and AMD's Fusion architecture launches. However, year-over-year growth in the second half will be lower than that seen in the first half of the year. For 2011, we believe that, even though the consumer segment will remain stalled in developed regions, IT executives will see PC upgrades as a priority over the next 12 months which should result in double digit growth in PC systems and PC processors units next year," said Mr. Rau.

Tags: AMD, , Intel, Via Technologies, IDC


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