In Chips, AMDs Shipments Zip; Intels Slip

AMD gained market share during the first quarter, while Intel slipped. But chip giant Intel still has plenty going for it, including a firm grip on hot markets such as notebooks.

Chip maker AMD made market-share gains against rival Intel during the first quarter of 2005, thanks to a refreshed product line.

Advanced Micro Devices finished the quarter with a 16.9 percent share of the worlds PC processor market, as shown in figures made public by Mercury Research on Monday.

Meanwhile, AMDs chief rival, Intel Corp., cornered 81.7 percent of the market during the quarter. The remainder went to VIA Technologies and Transmeta.

The first-quarter PC processor shipment figures arent far off of historical trends.

Intel typically commands a dominant position with somewhere between about 80 percent and about 85 percent of the market.

But AMD still managed to gain ground, aided by a better-sorted value line of processors and small but steady gains with its Opteron server chip as well, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst with Mercury Research.

When comparing its first-quarter 2005 performance to the first quarter of 2004, during which it had 15 percent share, AMD shows a gain of nearly two percentage points, according to the Mercury Research figures.

Intel saw a 1.8-point decline when measuring its first quarter 2005 share of 81.7 percent against its first quarter 2004 share of 83.5 percent, the Mercury figures also show.

The two companies saw much smaller sequential market share changes.

Comparing its first quarter 2005 share to its fourth quarter of 2004 share of 82.2 percent, Intel slipped half a point.

AMD increased its share by three-tenths of a point sequentially from 16.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004 to its 16.9 percent share in the first quarter.

Despite its market share change, "Intel is really actually dong quite well," McCarron said. "Because [Intel] is the larger supplier, if AMD makes any significant gains, then it comes out of Intels share. Its definitely worth noting that both companies were setting new records for their unit volumes" in the quarter.

Next Page: Notebooks in demand.