Sales of microprocessors were slightly up in the fourth quarter of 2011 despite of slowing demand for personal computers in Europe and the U.S. Market shares of different chip suppliers did not change significantly, but at the same time it is noteworthy that Advanced Micro Devices managed to gain 0.7% of the central processing unit market (CPU) in 2011, which is hardly bad for a company that struggled yields and execution issues throughout the most of 2011.
PC microprocessor ASPs at highest level since 2007
Worldwide PC microprocessor revenues in the fourth calendar quarter of 2011 (Q4 2011) rose to $10.9 billion, up 1.8% compared to Q3 2011 and up 14.2% compared to Q4 2010, according to the latest PC microprocessor market share study from International Data Corp. (IDC). For the year 2011 compared to 2010, PC microprocessor revenues rose 13.2% to more than $41 billion.
"The average selling price (ASP) that OEMs pay for PC microprocessors rose more than 9% in 2011, making 2011 the second consecutive year of notable ASP increases," said Shane Rau, director of semiconductors: personal computing research at IDC.
Looking at processor unit shipments in 2011 compared to 2010, overall shipments grew 3.6%. By form factor, mobile PC processor unit shipments grew 3.9% in 2011, while x86 server processor unit shipments grew 9.0%, and desktop processor unit shipments grew 2.7%.
Q4 2011: No Changes in Rankings
In Q4 2011, Intel earned 80.3% overall worldwide unit market share, a gain of 0.1% compared to Q3 2011. AMD earned 19.6% market share in Q4 2011, a loss of 0.1% compared to Q3 2011. Via Technologies earned 0.1% share for the quarter, representing no change.
The rankings by form-factors in Q4 2011 were the following:
- In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel's market share was 76.1%, a gain of 0.3%; while AMD had 23.8%, a loss of 0.3%.
- Intel commanded 82.3% share in the mobile PC processor segment, no change compared to Q3 2011. AMD finished with 17.6% of the market, flat with Q3 2011.
- In the server/workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 94.3% market share, a loss of 0.8%, and AMD earned 5.7%, a gain of 0.8%, which is rather remarkable and represents moderate success of Bulldozer-based AMD Opteron microprocessors.
2011: Slight Changes Evident, Trends Uncertain
For the full year 2011, Intel earned 80.1% overall worldwide unit market share, a loss of 0.6% compared to 2010. In 2011, AMD earned 19.7%, a gain of 0.7% compared to 2010. Via Technologies Technologies earned 0.2%, a loss of 0.1%.
The rankings by form-factors in 2011 were the following:
- In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel's market share was 73.8%, a gain of 1.7%; AMD shipped 26.0% of chips, a loss of 1.6%; and Via Technologies dropped to 0.2%, a loss of 0.2%.
- Intel supplied 83.8% of mobile PC processor segment, a loss of 2.6%; AMD finished with 16.0%, a gain of 2.7%; and Via Technologies earned 0.2%, a loss of 0.1%.
- In the server/workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 94.5% market share, a gain of 1.5% and AMD shipped 5.5% of processors, a loss of 1.5%.
Longer-Term Market Outlook
IDC's forecast for PC microprocessor unit shipment growth in 2012 is 5.1%. Since the end of 2011 and through the first quarter of 2012 so far, IDC observes that the hard disk drive shortage that caused PC OEMs to cut back on advanced purchases of PC microprocessors has improved. IDC now believes that the HDD shortage will not be a significant factor in PC shipments in Q2 2012. Combined with improving job growth in the United States and stabilization of sovereign debt issues in Europe, IDC may raise this growth rate modestly after the close of Q1 2012.