Two-horse race

Intel and AMD pull clear of Nvidia during Q2.

Tags: AMD (www.amd.com)Intel CorporationNVIDIA Corporation
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By  Andrew Seymour Published  September 18, 2010

CPU heavyweights AMD and Intel were the big winners in the global PC graphics sector during the second quarter, as both gained market share at the expense of rival Nvidia.

Overall graphics chip shipments were up 4% from the first quarter of the year, while desktop discrete GPUs fell 21%, according to the latest data from Jon Peddie Research. The fall in desktop-based units was reflective of the huge growth in notebooks. On a half-year basis, meanwhile, shipments climbed an impressive 39% on the same period last year.

Intel maintained its leadership position during the quarter as it benefitted from the success of its Clarkdale processor range, as well as continued Atom sales for netbooks and strong notebook growth.

Its nemesis AMD led the market in terms of gains made, however, after booking the largest increase in its history for both discrete and integrated desktop products. AMD’s progress will come as no surprise to those who have followed the vendor’s financial results. According to Jon Peddie Research, the company reported that revenue from its graphics segment increased 8% sequentially and 87% year-on-year to US$440m during the second quarter. For the record, Intel reported “revenue from client chipset and other” of US$1.68 billion for the equivalent period.

While the two CPU heavyweights had plenty of reason to celebrate, the same could not be said of Nvidia. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the company suffered double-digit losses in every segment except notebook integrated, where it showed a 10% improvement in unit shipments.

Total sales for the three-month period that closed at the end of July were estimated at between US$800m and US$$820m compared with the projection of US$950m to US$970m given in May.

The revenue shortfall occurred primarily in the consumer GPU business, resulting from increased memory costs and economic weakness in Europe and China. The increased solution cost of discrete GPUs led to a greater-than-expected shift to lower-priced GPUs and PCs with integrated graphics.

Jon Peddie says that a new category — Processor Graphics or ‘PG’ — continues to gain pace. With the advent of new CPUs with integrated or embedded graphics, it predicts that the market will see the rapid decline in deliveries for traditional chipset graphics or integrated graphics processors (IGPs).

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