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August 19, 2010

Intel Loses, AMD Gains as Processor Shipments Rise in the Second Quarter

While Intel (News - Alert) has a much bigger share of the worldwide microprocessor market, its performance in the second quarter was not up to the mark. As per market research firm International Data Corp.’s (IDC (News - Alert)) latest report Worldwide PC Microprocessor 2Q10 Vendor Shares, Intel lost 0.3 percent of the worldwide PC microprocessor market share in the second quarter, while rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD (News - Alert)) gained 0.2 percent. And the third competitor VIA Technologies earned 0.3 percent. This loss was based on an overall worldwide unit market share of 80.7 percent as against AMD’s 19.0 percent share.

By same token, in 2Q10 unit share, Intel lost some ground to AMD in mobile processor market. The IDC report indicates that Intel earned 86.1 percent share in the mobile PC processor segment with a loss of 1.7 percent. And AMD finished the quarter with 13.7 percent share, a gain of 1.6 percent. While VIA (News - Alert) earned 0.2 percent.

However, performance in the PC server/workstation processor segment is encouraging for Intel. In this sector, processor giant dominated with 93.5 percent market share with a gain of 3.3 percent, while rival AMD earned 6.5 percent, representing a loss of 3.3 percent. Similarly, in the desktop PC processor segment, Intel earned 72.2 percent, reflecting a gain of 0.5 percent. Here, AMD earned 27.3 percent, showing a loss of 0.7 percent. VIA earned 0.5 percent.

Besides strong server chip business, the reason for Intel’s gain in the server microprocessor market is being attributed to slow product transition at AMD.

Overall, in comparison to the first quarter 2010, the worldwide PC microprocessor unit shipments and revenues in the second calendar (2Q10) rose 3.6 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively, according to the latest PC processor study by IDC.

In a statement, IDC’s Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing research, said, "Such a sequential increase in PC processor shipments alone would have been enough to conclude that the first half was strong for the market." "However, a modest rise in revenues, too, points directly to a rise in average selling prices. System makers bought more and higher-priced PC processors in 2Q10 than in 1Q10. Digging a little deeper into the numbers shows that they bought more mobile processors and more server processors, while desktop processors remained flat," added Rau.

He added, "Intel got significant sales traction for its new 32 nm Xeon DP products, and 45 nm Xeon MPs.”

In short, the IDC study shows that mobile PC processor unit shipments rose 6.5 percent quarter over quarter, PC server processors rose 6.1 percent quarter over quarter and desktop PC processors declined 0.1 percent quarter over quarter.

Looking forward, commented Rau, the second half of the year will be seasonal given the early build for Intel's Sandy Bridge and AMD's Fusion architecture launches, but lower than the year-over-year growth seen in the first half of the year. “2011 remains a wildcard in terms of sustainable unit growth," concluded Rau.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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