Intel Atom Chip Propels Company Against AMD

Intel held 81.8 percent of the world's microprocessor market share in 2008, new data from iSuppli reveals. Netbook growth and the Intel Atom chip were part of that success, the researcher reports. Second-in-line AMD, with its Phenom II chip, is expected to have better success in 2009.

"Landslide" feels inadequate to describe the margin by which Intel beat other microprocessor companies for market share in 2008, according to new data from iSuppli.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, Intel held 81.8 percent of the market, followed by Advanced Micro Devices with 10.6 percent. Smaller companies' grip on the market was insignificant enough for iSuppli to lump them together as "others," with a combined 7 percent share.
These fourth quarter numbers - based on revenue in U.S. dollars - represent a small fall for AMD, which held 12.2 percent market share in the third quarter, a difference of 1.6 percent that appears to have been shared between Intel, which held 81.0 percent in the third quarter, and the "others," which held 6.9 percent.
Intel gained shares during every quarter of 2008, which iSuppli attributes to the success of Intel's Atom chip in the growing netbook sector. On March 2, Intel announced plans to further expand the reach of its Atom chips, through an agreement with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing.
In 2008, netbook shipments grew by more than 2000 percent, and iSuppli expects to see a rise of 68.5 percent this year.
Intel's microprocessor business also grew on a year-to-year basis, with its market share rising 3.4 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2008, from 78.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007.
And while AMD lost 1.2 percent of its share from 2007 to 2008, iSuppli analyst Matthew Wilkins finds it better positioned in 2009, now that AMD's 45nm chips - its Phenom II chips are expected to compete with Intel's Core 2 Duo chips - are shipping.
While 2008 was a challenging year for AMD, Wilkins said in a statement on the new data, "the company has undergone a number of strategic initiatives, such as its moves to reduce its production assets."
Wilkins added, "Clearly things are getting tougher if you're a microprocessor supplier and your name is not Intel or AMD."