Intel, AMD Chips With Integrated Graphics Gain Ground in Q3: IDC

Intel's "Sandy Bridge" processors and AMD's Fusion chips are finding rapid adoption in the industry, according to IDC.

The processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices that include integrated graphics technologies are rapidly becoming a larger part of each vendor's product mix and are driving up overall chip selling prices, according to market research firm IDC.

In a report Nov. 3, IDC analysts said that the average selling price of processors in the third quarter jumped more than 5 percent, driving a trend that began last year. Overall, processors with integrated graphics technology in the third quarter represented 73 percent of all processors shipped, according to IDC.

"Clearly, Intel's Sandy Bridge and AMD's Fusion microprocessors with integrated graphic processors are rising in each company's product stack and driving the price increase," Shane Rau, director of semiconductors and personal computing research at IDC, said in a statement. "At the same time, low-end processors, notably Intel's Atom processors, are declining as a percentage of the unit mix."

Both chip makers introduced their respective product lines in January at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. In addition, executives from both Intel and AMD have said that those new chips have become among the fastest-growing products in the history of their companies. Combining the CPU and high-level graphics capabilities onto a single chip is designed to drive up the performance and energy efficiency of their processors.

Intel and AMD led a global PC processor market that IDC said grew in both revenues and shipments in the third quarter. According to the analyst firm, worldwide PC chip revenues increased to $10.7 billion, a 12.2 percent jump over the second quarter and a 16.1 percent rise over the same period in 2010. Unit sales grew 6.7 percent over the second quarter and 5.2 percent over the third quarter last year.

In the quarter, Intel saw its worldwide market share grow 0.9 percentage points from the previous quarter, to 80.2 percent. AMD's share fell 0.7 percentage points, to 19.7 percent, while Via Technologies' market share was 0.1 percent, a loss of 0.2 percentage points.

However, in the mobile chip space, AMD saw its market share grow 2.4 percentage points, to 17.6 percent, while Intel's share dropped 2.1 percentage points, to 82.3 percent. That strong showing by AMD mirrored numbers released Nov. 1 by Mercury Research, which said that the chip maker put its greatest effort behind its mobile chip efforts.

"AMD chose to dedicate most of its supply of new processors to the mobile market, resulting in very high growth for mobile at the expense of desktop shipments," Mercury analyst Dean McCarron wrote in his report. "This, in turn, lead to lower growth for AMD's desktop components compared to Intel, and resulted in a share gain for Intel in the desktop segment and overall. AMD gained share in the mobile market due to extremely high growth."

Mercury's finding that AMD lost ground in the desktop space was echoed by IDC's numbers, which found that the chip maker's market share fell 4.8 percentage points, to 24.1 percent. Intel's share gained by that same amount, to 75.8 percent.

On the server/workstation side, Intel's market share in the third quarter was 95.1 percent, a gain of 0.6 percentage points. AMD, which started shipping its 16-core Opteron 6200 "Interlagos" server chip in the quarter and is lining up its eight-core "Valencia" Opterons for release, saw its share drop 0.6 percentage points, to 4.9 percent. However, manufacturing problems with partner Globalfoundries caused a delay in the shipping of Interlagos until later in the quarter than expected, according to AMD officials.