AMD saw strong growth in its mobile chip business, but Intel continued to control more than 80 percent of the worldwide microprocessor space in 2011, IDC analysts said.
Advanced Micro Devices got a boost from its Fusion processors
in 2011, seeing gains in market share for mobile chips and a slight bump in
overall processor share, according to market research firm IDC.
However, Intel only showed a slight decline during a year
that saw microprocessor revenues jump 13.2 percent, to more than $41 billion.
That, in part, was helped by the fact that systems makers were willing to shell
out more for the chips than they paid in 2010, according to Shane Rau, director
of PC semiconductor research at IDC.
"The average selling price (ASP) that OEMs pay for PC
microprocessors rose more than 9 [percent] in 2011, making 2011 the second
consecutive year of notable ASP increases," Rau said in a statement.
Processor unit shipments grew 3.6 percent from 2010 to 2011,
according to IDC.
Last year, Intel held 80.1 percent of the worldwide unit
market, a slight drop of 0.6 percent over 2010, according to IDC. AMDs market
share stood at 19.7 percent, a bump of 0.7 percent. Via Technologies share was
0.2 percent, a drop of 0.1 percent.
AMD was bolstered, in particular, by its performance in the
mobile PC chip space, where its share grew to 16 percent, a 2.7 percent
increase. AMD rolled out its much-anticipated Fusion accelerated processing
units (APUs) during the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011, and focused
much of its efforts during the year on its mobile chips, including the popular Llano
offerings for mainstream PCs
At the same time, Intel unveiled its Sandy Bridge
architecture, which like the Fusion APUs offers integrated graphics technology.
Its share in the mobile chip space fell 2.6 percent, to 83.3 percent.
However, Intel saw its dominance in the server space grow 1.5
percent, to 94.5 percent, despite the delay in the release of its Xeon E5
processors. AMDs share dropped 1.5 percent to 5.5 percent. AMD, after a delay,
launched its Opteron
6200 Interlagos server chips
in November 2011. The devices offer up to 16
cores, and provide performance and energy-efficiency improvements.
AMD s Bulldozer architecture, which appeared in Interlagos
and Opteron 4200 Valencia processors, also was dogged by some disappointing
reviews when they hit the market.
Intel also grew its share of the desktop chip space, seeing a
1.7 percent jump to 73.8 percent. AMDs 26 percent share was a loss of 1.6
In the fourth quarter of 2011, microprocessor revenues hit
$10.9 billion, up 14.2 percent over the same period in 2010. Intel held 80.3
percent of the overall market in the fourth quarter, followed by AMD with 19.6
percent and Via with 0.1 percent.
IDC analysts expect microprocessor shipments in 2012 to grow
5.1 percent, adding that the effects that massive
floods in Thailand
had on the hard-disk-drive (HDD) market is fading. The
HDD shortage forced vendors in the PC supply chain to lower inventories and
reduce the number of chips they were buying. By the end of 2011, analysts
reduced their forecasts for everything from PCs to semiconductors, and Intel
lowered its first-quarter financial projections.
However, IDCs report said the HDD shortage will not hamper
PC shipments this year, and the analysts said that, given the improvements in
the U.S. job market and relative financial stability in the European Union,
they may raise their projections after the current quarter ends.