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Even though the demand for personal computers softened in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago, shipments of central processing units (CPUs) actually increased year-over-year, according to new data from IDC. Not only microprocessor market grew year-over-year, but it also managed to outgrow shipments in the fourth quarter.

PC CPU Market Up 7.4% Annually, 1.6% Sequentially

Worldwide PC microprocessor shipments in the first calendar quarter of 2011 (Q1 2011) grew, compared to both Q4 2010 (+1.6% quarter over quarter) and to Q1 2010 (+7.4% year over year), according to the latest PC microprocessor market share study from International Data Corp. (IDC).

"The first quarter, which is usually weak, was strong in terms of unit shipments, but surely benefitted from an extra calendar week. Both Intel and AMD grew unit shipments sequentially, which indicates some decent strength in their new platforms. Due to the first full quarter shipping their Sandy Bridge and Fusion microprocessors with integrated graphics processors (IGP), processors with IGP grew to slightly over 50% of market shipments for the first time," said Shane Rau, director of semiconductors: personal computing research at IDC.

Market Shares Remain Unchanged

In Q1 2011, PC processor vendor shares overall were remarkably stable. Intel commanded 80.8% unit shipments and AMD earned 18.9%, both flat compared to Q4 2010. VIA Technologies had 0.2% market share.

By form factors the rankings in Q1 2011 were the following:

  • In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel shipped 72.4% of chips, a loss of 0.1%, and AMD earned 27.4% of the market, a loss of 0.1%.
  • Intel got 86.3% share in the mobile PC processor segment, a gain of 0.2%, AMD finished with 13.4%, a loss of 0.1%, and Via Technologies shipped about 0.3% of mobile microprocessors.
  • In the PC server/workstation processor segment, Intel supplied 93.9% of chips, a loss of 0.3% and AMD shipped 6.1% of microprocessors, a gain of 0.3%.

PC Microprocessor TAM to Increase to $43 Billion in 2011

According to IDC's latest PC microprocessor market forecast, unit shipments for the full year 2011 will grow 10.3% compared to 2010 and market revenue for the year will grow 17.6% to nearly $43 billion.

"Generally, the demand environment for the second half of this year looks decent. The earthquake and tsunami had minor effects on the PC supply chain. However, the real near-to-mid term concern there is the effect on Japanese demand for PCs and so microprocessors," said Mr. Rau.

Tags: AMD, Intel, IDC, Via Technologies

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