Despite chip recall, Intel boosts market share vs. AMD

Intel's share of the global chip market grew in the first quarter, at the expense of longtime rival AMD, according to new research.

The eternal microprocessor battle rages on.

Intel's share of the global chip market grew in the first quarter, at the expense of longtime rival AMD, according to research outfit iSuppli.

Intel managed to boost its share to 82.6 percent of global microprocessor revenues in Q1 2011, up from 80.6 percent in 2010 and 81 percent the quarter prior.

The news comes despite an eight million-strong recall for an error in the core-logic chipset that supports its Core Sandy Bridge chips.

The battle between Intel and AMD is largely zero-sum, and as a result AMD's market share slipped to 10.1 percent in Q1 2011, down from 11.8 percent in 1Q10 and 10.9 percent in 4Q10.

How did Intel dodge a bullet? ISuppli chalks it up to a strong market for microprocessors, which grew 20 percent in Q1 2011. Still, both companies saw increased revenues thanks to the strong market; Intel saw a 25 percent jump in Q1 revenues.

Moreover, both companies increased their chokehold on the market: together, they represented 92.7 percent of microprocessor revenues in 1Q11, up from 92.4 percent the year before.

But it remains unclear whether this is a fluke quarter as the market changes. The future of Intel's Atom chip (and netbooks in general) is undecided as the slate-style tablet market begins to pick up.

Can it regroup for the next wave of computing, or will it ride its cash cow into obsolescence?

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