iSuppli: Intel's Processor Revenue Soars, AMD's Sinks in Q3

In the third quarter of 2008, Intel increased its share of the world's microprocessor revenue, while AMD watched its share shrink, according to the latest report from research firm iSuppli. The report also showed that sales of desktop and notebooks in the third quarter were not as weak as first believed, and iSuppli is predicting the PC market to grow about 12 percent this year.

Intel managed to increase its share of the world's microprocessor revenue in the third quarter of 2008, while Advanced Micro Device watched its share of the market shrink, according to research firm iSuppli.

In the quarter, Intel accounted for 80.4 percent of the world's processor revenue, an increase of 1.7 percent from the same time period last year. At the same time, AMD's market share fell to 12.1 percent, a decrease of about 1.8 percent from the third quarter of 2007. All other chip vendors combined accounted for 7.5 percent of the world's chip revenue.

There was some good news for AMD in the report. iSuppli researchers did find that the chip maker increased its revenue market share from the second quarter of 2008, when it stood at 12 percent, to the third quarter. Even that small amount of good news, however, still does not make up for when AMD posted a third-quarter loss of $67 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, earlier this month.

The iSuppli report, which was released Oct. 29, includes revenue from x86 processors as well as other types of general-purpose processors such as RISC chips.

Intel's growth was helped by the company's chip product mix, especially its notebook processor offerings, according to iSuppli.

The fact that notebook chips have become increasingly important to Intel and AMD has been evident for some time, but another firm, Mercury Research, announced earlier this month that shipments of mobile processors for laptops outstripped shipments of processors for desktops for the first time in the third quarter.

The survey also found that despite the growing concerns about the financial crisis, shipments of desktops and notebooks were not as weak as expected in the third quarter. iSuppli analysts believe that PC shipments increased between 12 and 14 percent in the third quarter compared with the same time period in 2008.

For the year, PC shipments are expected to increase about 12.5 percent.

The competition between Intel and AMD is expected to intensify in November, when both companies are expected to roll out products that should set the stage for the chip market in 2009. AMD has said that it's already shipping supplies of its 45-nanometer processor-"Shanghai"-to partners, and some servers built around the new chip are expected to hit the market by December.

Intel will bring out a series of new chips in November that are based on the company's new microarchitecture called Nehalem. The first of these processors, called the Core i7, is slated for high-end PCs and gaming machines. After that, Intel is expected to release a number of parts for single-socket server systems as well as for high-performance computing. Laptop chips based on Nehalem are expected by the second half of 2009.