AMD eats away at Intel's chip shipment share

The second quarter saw AMD boost its share of the global processor market, while Intel lost ground, according to IDC, which has cut its PC chip outlook for the year

AMD has increased its share of the global microprocessor market at the expense of Intel, according to a report from analyst house IDC.

In the second quarter, AMD's share of units shipped worldwide rose 1.5 percent to 20.4 percent, while Intel's fell 1.5 percent to 79.3 percent, according to the report released on Tuesday.

New technologies had an impact on the quarter, which saw rises in shipments of chips with integrated graphics, such as Intel's Sandy Bridge and AMD's Fusion. In the period, 60 percent of all processors shipped had integrated graphics, IDC said.

Intel still has a strong lead in mobile PC chips — such as those used in laptops — with a shipment share of 84.4 percent. However, AMD gained 1.8 percent in the sector, taking its share to 15.2 percent.

Growth areas

In AMD's second-quarter earnings call in July, acting-chief executive Thomas Seifert said the company was seeing growth from its integrated graphics processors, which it calls APUs, or accelerated processing units. "APU momentum is driving increased sales with our newest notebook customers, helping to increase our footprint across emerging markets," Seifert said in the call.

APU momentum is driving increased sales with our newest notebook customers, helping to increase our footprint across emerging markets.

– Thomas Seifert, AMD

AMD also made headway in desktop processors, rising 1.5 percent to 28.9 percent, compared with Intel's 70.9 percent. The results bear out Seifert's prediction earlier in the year that its APU architecture, which combines CPUs with a many-core GPU on the same processor, would help drive revenue and boost market share throughout 2011.

Intel maintained its dominance in server processors, finishing the quarter with a 94.5-percent market share thanks to a 0.6-percent rise in shipments. Intel's main server processor is the Xeon. It released the Sandy Bridge-based Xeon E7, formerly codenamed Westmere-EX, at the beginning of April, and this drove shipments in the second quarter.

"Demand for our Westmere-EX family that was launched in April is very healthy, and this helped to strengthen server [average selling prices] in the quarter," chief executive Paul Otellini noted in Intel's second-quarter earnings call in July.

AMD held 5.5 percent of the server market, down 0.6 percent on the previous quarter, according to IDC.

PC chip shipments

Overall, worldwide PC chip shipments fell 2.9 percent quarter-on-quarter, but were up 0.6 percent year-on-year, the market analyst firm said. However, that decrease is probably the due to there being an extra week in the first quarter, according to the report's author, Shane Rau.

"If we took off that extra week, the performance between the two quarters probably would've seen a seen a slight sequential uptick from 1Q to 2Q," Rau, director of PC semiconductor research at IDC, said in a statement.

The market analysis firm cut its increase forecast for PC processor shipments in 2011 from 10.3 percent to 9.3 percent, citing the effect of the economic downturn on consumer PC purchases.

"The tougher economic conditions in places like Western Europe and the US... are leading to decreased demand and belt-tightening," an IDC spokesman told ZDNet UK.

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