Intel Regains Market Share from AMD as Market Shifts to Hybrid Microprocessors

73% of All Microprocessors Sold in Q3 Sport Integrated Graphics Core

by Anton Shilov
11/03/2011 | 05:06 PM

Pessimistic projections draw declines on the market of processors in the third quarter of 2011 due to slow demand for PCs in well-developed countries. The expectations proved to be incorrect as the market was up both sequentially and annually both in terms of volume and revenue. As the industry shifts towards microprocessors with integrated graphics cores, Intel manages to grab the market away from AMD mainly due to production problems of the latter.

CPU Market Rises 12.2% to $10.7 Billion


Worldwide PC microprocessor revenues in the third calendar quarter of 2011 (Q3 2011) rose to $10.7 billion, up 12.2% compared to Q2 2011 and up 16.1% compared to Q3 2010, according to the latest PC microprocessor market share study from International Data Corporation (IDC). On a unit basis, the PC microprocessor market rose 6.7% compared to Q2 2011 and rose 5.2% compared to Q3 2010.

"The average selling price (ASP) that OEMs pay for PC microprocessors rose more than 5% in Q3 2011 and it was the eighth quarter in a row that ASPs rose," said Shane Rau, director of semiconductors: personal computing research at IDC.

Share of APUs Rockets to 73% of All PC Microprocessors Shipped

IDC's tracking of AMD's Fusion and of Intel's Core i-series "Sandy Bridge"  microprocessors indicates that chips with integrated graphics cores (or accelerated processing units [APUs] in AMD's classification) rose to 73% of total PC processor unit volume in Q3 2011.

"Clearly, Intel's Sandy Bridge and AMD's Fusion microprocessors with integrated graphic processors are rising in each company's product stack and driving the price increase. At the same time, low-end processors, notably Intel's Atom processors, are declining as a percentage of the unit mix," added Mr. Rau.

AMD Drops, Intel Rises, Via Collapses

In Q3 2011, Intel shipped 80.2% of all worldwide x86 chips, a gain of 0.9% compared to Q2 2011. In Q3 2011, AMD supplied 19.7%, a loss of 0.7% compared to Q2 2011. Via Technologies' market share dropped to less than 0.1% in terms of volume, a loss of 0.2%.

The rankings by form-factors in Q3 2011 were the following:

AMD's losses in desktops and servers was most probably mainly conditioned by the fact that the company decided not to release its new FX-series "Zambezi" and Opteron "Interlagos" chips in June and instead ramped up Fusion A-series microprocessors at Globalfoundries' 32nm production capacity. It will be interesting to see whether AMD will be able to regain its share inside desktops and servers once the 32nm are solved.

2011 and Long-Term Market Outlook

Since June, client PC processor demand growth has slowed down modestly. Combined with a weak macroeconomic outlook - due to sovereign debt issues in Europe and poor job growth in the United States - IDC is reducing its client PC processor (desktop, mobile, x86 server) unit growth forecast for 2011 from 9.3% to 7.3%.