For graphics chip makers, the worst is over, says a July 16 report from Jon Peddie Research. Global graphics chip shipments for 2009 will see the "worst ever year-over-year drop in shipments," the firm reported, but a comeback is expected for 2010.
JPR lists the annual percentage growth for the market at 11.1 percent in 2007, 6.1 percent in 2008, -12 percent in 2009 and then up to 21.5 percent in 2010.
"Graphics chip shipments are a leading market indicator - the graphics chips go to the ODMs and OEMs, which then build and ship PCs," states the JPR report.
"Taking together our data, interviews with suppliers and world economic forecast models, we believe the worst is over and Q3 will show recovery leading all the way through 2010, subject to seasonal adjustments."
JPR also writes that it expects notebook and netbook sales to be strong, but not to overwhelm desktops, which it describes as the preferred platform choice for "power users and professionals."
This expectation is in contrast with a July 14 report from iSuppli, which expects shipments of desktop PCs to fall to 124.4 million units in 2009, down from 151.9 million in 2008, and notebook PC shipments to rise to 155.97 million units, from 139.6 million 2008. "Notebook PC shipments will exceed those of desktops on an annual basis for the first time ever in 2009," stated the iSuppli report.
Jon Peddie defends the position, however, telling eWEEK in an e-mail, "The list of users who prefer and probably never will move to a notebook ... are almost all engineers who are doing anything that is computationally or graphics intensive."
To the engineers, Peddie adds game enthusiasts, those working in video editing and film production, as well as financial traders, pharmaceutical industry workers, medical researchers and financial traders. "Point being," he wrote, "don't believe the common wisdom."
The JPR report additionally stated that Intel's Nehalem and new products from AMD, ATI, Intel and Nvidia will be disruptive to suppliers' traditional market share and that new operating systems from Apple and Microsoft will stimulate market growth.
Further, "New programming capabilities using OpenCL, DirectX 11 and Nvidia's CUDA architecture will remove barriers to the exploitation of the GPU as a serious, economical and powerful co-processor in all levels of PCs," states the report.
The net result is expected to be a new PC environment, starting in Q3, that will positively impact computing from 2010 onward.