Despite Intel's Atom Processor Strength, Overall Chip Market Declines
The U.S. economic recession and global downturn did no favors for the x86 processor market, which faced a double-digit decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 as purchases of desktops, notebooks and enterprise server systems declined. Intel's market share for the x86 processor market grew slightly on the strength of the Atom processor for mini-notebooks, netbooks and other devices, while AMD and Via's portion of the market remained largely unchanged.On the heels of this week's news indicating that computer graphics chip shipments had been bludgeoned by the recession, a new Mercury Research report suggests that the overall x86 processor market, which includes notebook, desktop and server CPU shipments, has been similarly affected, declining 18 percent between the third and fourth quarter of 2008. The Jan. 30 Mercury Research report found that the overall x86 market was down 8.8 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2007.
This affected chip shipments from market leaders Intel and Advanced Micro Devices and Via, which makes low-watt, low-cost notebook processors. This follows an unusually strong third quarter in which the x86 processor market grew 13 percent compared to the same period in 2007, roughly 3 percent above the average.