Intel, AMD Lead a Rejuvenated Chip Market: IDC
Worldwide PC microprocessor units and revenue showed uncharacteristic growth during the second quarter of 2010, according to IDC. Mobile units rose while desktops fell, and Intel dominated all categories.Worldwide PC microprocessor unit shipments and revenues increased notably during the second quarter of 2010, IDC reported Aug. 19. While unit-shipment change between first and second quarters generally averages 1.6 percent, and revenue change averages a decrease of -2.8 percent, the 2010 second quarter saw increases of 3.6 and 6.2, respectively.
"Major OEMs cut PC build orders with their contract manufacturers who, in turn have cut orders for commodity components. While the PC processor vendors reiterated their solid outlook during their most recent earnings calls, the softness we've seen ultimately makes us concerned for end demand's pull on processors," explained Rau. "Likely, 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." Intel's 32-nanometer "Sandy Bridge" processor platform will replace its "Nehalem" platform and are expected to begin appearing in desktops and notebooks in early 2011. Key features will include Intel's AVX (Advanced Vector Extension) instructions, which reportedly improve speeds for image, video and audio processing. AMD's Fusion processors create what the company calls APUs-accelerated processing units. These reportedly bring together CPU, GPU, video processing and other accelerator capabilities on a single die. Two versions-"Llano" and a lower-power model called "Ontario"-will be released in early 2011. In terms of sustainable unit growth going forward, said IDC's Rau, "2011 remains a wildcard."