Intel Increases Its Lead Over AMD

An IDC study found that Intel's chip business gained a percentage point of market share from AMD in the third quarter, and seasonal growth cycles and an industry recovery gave both chip makers a boost.

Intel Corp.s microprocessor business gained a percentage point of market share from rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. during the third quarter, although both companies benefited from an overall recovery, according to an International Data Corp. study.

In the study released Monday by IDC analyst Shane Rau, the firm found that Intel ended the third quarter with 82.6 percent of all X86 processors sold, an increase of one percentage point. AMDs share, meanwhile, slipped by seven-tenths of a percentage point, falling to 16.5 percent.

Rau said both Intel and AMD benefited from seasonal growth cycles as well as a generally strengthening chip industry. In addition, Intels market share bumped up because of new products introduced during the second quarter, including new Pentium M mobile processors and chip sets using a faster 800MHz bus. Also, Rau said, more and more consumers are buying notebook PCs, which has helped the industry recover.

"There is a general lift going on in seasonal demand, which fits into AMDs recovery," Rau said.

Both AMD and Intel benefited from a 17.7 percent sequential spike in overall PC microprocessor revenue, which grew out of a 13.6 percent increase in unit shipments and a 3.6 percent increase in average selling prices, IDC said.

The two chip makers have suffered since the dot-com bust began crimping chip sales in 2001. During that time, however, chip companies and especially Intel have built up their infrastructure in anticipation of a turnaround. Intels third-quarter revenues were the highest in 25 years.

"This quarters results were a solid indicator of progress during the downturn," Andy Bryant, Intels chief financial officer, said during the companys third-quarter call with analysts last month.

Meanwhile, the smallest fish in the pond didnt fare as well, Rau said. Via Technologies Inc. and Transmeta Corp. reported market share percentages of 0.8 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively. During the third quarter, Via captured just under 1 percent of the PC processor market, while Transmetas share was about 0.3 percent.

IDC found that overall sales of mobile microprocessors grew by 13.6 percent during the quarter, and the analyst firm said that AMDs mobile chip shipments increased by 72 percent sequentially during the period.