IDC: Intel Gains Market Share From AMD In Sluggish Microprocessor Industry

IDC on Thursday said the worldwide PC microprocessor industry experienced sluggish growth in the fourth quarter of 2010, and offered a conservative forecast for the industry in 2011 due to delays to both AMD's Llano Fusion product and rival Intel's Sandy Bridge integrated graphics platform.

IDC says Intel claimed an 80.8 percent share of the semiconductor market in the fourth quarter, up 0.4 percent, while AMD has 19.9 percent market share, down 0.4 percent sequentially. For the full year 2010, Intel's market share rose 1.1 percent while AMD lost 1.1 per cent, according to IDC.

AMD in January delayed the launch of its Llano APU, which integrates CPU and GPU capabilities onto a single die, and was therefore not able to take advantage of a shortage in the emerging integrated CPU-GPU segment following Intel's Sandy Bridge recall, Shane Rau, research director at IDC, told IDG News Service.

Rau reportedly said AMD does not currently have an equivalent offering on the market as Sandy Bridge-based systems from PC manufacturers, including Apple and Lenovo, begin to proliferate, closing the window on AMD's volume growth opportunity.

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However, an AMD spokesperson responded to Rau's comments by saying that Llano is on schedule for production shipments in the first half of this year. "This execution strategy has not changed," the spokesperson said. "We are on schedule to deliver according to our roadmap."

Despite earlier this month launching an initiative to capitalize on Intel 's Sandy Bridge recall by reaching out to channel partners and end users in an effort to capitalize on Intel 's Sandy Bridge recall, AMD will not be enough to significantly grow its market share, Rau reportedly said.

IDC reported that global PC microprocessor shipments as a whole slowed down significantly. Q4 shipments were down .04 percent compared to Q3 and .21 percent year-over-year. On the other hand, overall microprocessor shipments rose 17.1 percent for the full year, and revenue went up 26.7 percent to $36.3 billion. In 2010, the overall microprocessor average selling price rose 8 percent, IDC said.

"The fourth quarter was weak and out of synch with normal seasonal patterns in terms of unit shipments," Rau said in a statement. "The first half of the year turned out to be the better half of the year. However, looking back at the whole year 2010, it's clear that the ongoing shift to mobile processors, combined with a shift back towards high-performance mobile processors, as opposed to Atom processors for netbooks, drove a significant rise in overall processor average selling prices."

IDC recorded overall growth in 2010 processor shipments for a variety for PC product categories, including the rapidly growing mobile embedded device segment. Mobile PC processor unit shipments grew 26.2 percent, IDC said, from 50.2 percent of all PC processors shipped in 2009 up to 54.1 percent in 2010. Meanwhile, x86 server processor shipments grew 28.1 percent and desktop processor unit shipments grew 6.2 percent.

Next: Chip Industry Forecast For 2011

IDC also forecasted 10.1 percent year-over-year growth for the microprocessor industry in 2011.

"Corporate spending continues to drive spending on server platforms and commercial clients," Rau said. "However, the affects of emerging devices, like media tablets, and economic concerns in Europe and the U.S., lead us to be conservative in our overall outlook."

AMD in January modified its Fusion APU product roadmap, moving the launch of its Llano APUs to Q2 2011 and pushing back its high-end Bulldozer processors to summer 2011. ’We have entered a new phase with our 32nm ramp and are now sampling thousands of Llano products to a wide variety of OEMs and ODMs as they prepare for production in Q2,’ said Thomas Seifert, interim chief executive officer of AMD, during a conference call with financial analysts at the time.

AMD was originally expected to begin shippings its Llano processors in Q4'10 before launching the product inside systems in early 2011. AMD in July said it would push back its initial commercial shipments by two months, without offering details of problems with the product or other reasons for the delay.

Meanwhile, Intel earlier this month chose to resume shipping the Intel 6 series Cougar Point support chipset for its new Sandy Bridge integrated graphics platform, for PC system configurations that have not been affected by the design issue that came to light on Feb. 1. Intel said it decided to lift the hold on shipments after extensive talks with its OEM partners on the subject.

Intel's high-end Core i5 and i7 Sandy Bridge processors launched at CES 2011 after months of anticipation and were featured in a number of devices unveiled at the event. Intel then said it had discovered a design flaw in Cougar Point and halted shipments of the Sandy Bridge platform, prompting PC makers to delay systems and issue refunds.