If these are good times for the PC market, then Intel and Advanced Micro Devices might be among the biggest beneficiaries.
A Dec. 3 report from market research company iSuppli that looked at microprocessor revenue for the third quarter found that Intel and AMD have each increased their market share at a time when the market for PCs is booming. Together, the two chip makers accounted for 93 percent of all worldwide processor revenue in the third quarter.
For the third quarter, iSuppli reported that worldwide semiconductor revenues will hit $8.5 billion, which includes revenue from general-purpose x86 chips as well as RISC processors.
The report also found that the price war between the two rival companies might be slowing down, with prices holding steady during the quarter. This development in the x86 space comes at a time when AMD is struggling to regain its momentum after the lackluster debut of its quad-core Opteron processor earlier this year. Intel, on the other hand, delivered its 45-nanometer processors and will likely to continue even more variations on the chips in 2008.
The iSuppli report is another sign that the PC market is experiencing a resurgence thanks to worldwide demand for laptop computers and a steady stream of low-cost PCs from a number of vendors, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Acer. In the third quarter, OEMs shipped 68.1 million PCs, an increase of nearly 14 percent.
The result has been lower-cost desktops and notebooks for both business buyers and consumers. In the meantime, Intel and AMD have benefited from the volume of processors being shipped to vendors.
"The combination of strong PC and server demand—combined with stable microprocessor prices—led to a prosperous quarter for both Intel and AMD," Matthew Wilkins, an analyst with iSuppli, wrote.
For the quarter, Intel's processor revenues accounted for 78.7 percent of the worldwide market, an increase of 4.6 percent from a year ago. While AMD's revenues were down year-over-year, the company did manage to improve sequentially from the second quarter of 2007 and the chip maker accounted for 13.9 percent of global revenues in the third quarter.