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Intel stays on top of MPU market in '08

Posted: 03 Apr 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel Atom? microprocessor? MPU market?

Intel Corp. accounted for 81.8 percent of global microprocessor revenue in Q4 08, and posted market share gains in every quarter, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.

iSuppli attributed Intel's strength in 2008 partly to the success of its Atom chip in the emerging netbook sector. Worldwide unit shipments of netbooks soared by more than 2000 percent in 2008 and are expected to rise by 68.5 percent in 2009, iSuppli said.

Atom powers the vast majority of netbooks. Priced at less than $50, it is also far less expensive than Intel's high-end MPUs. Some analysts have questioned whether it cannibalizes other markets for the company.

"Intel's Atom offering for the netbook segment has helped, although the major contribution to the company's share gains has undoubtedly come from the continued strength of the company's microprocessor brands and products in the desktop, notebook and server segments," said Matthew Wilkins, iSuppli principal analyst of compute platforms research, in a statement.

Intel's share of the microprocessor segment grew nearly 1 percentage point from Q3 to Q4 08, iSuppli said. The company's Q4 share of the microprocessor market was up 3.4 percent from Q4 07, the firm said.

For the full-year of 2008, Intel grew its market share by 1.6 percentage points at the expense of smaller competitors, iSuppli said.

AMD slide
Intel's main microprocessor rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., lost share on both a y-on-y and sequential basis in Q4 08. According to iSuppli, AMD accounted for 10.6 percent of worldwide microprocessor revenue, a decrease of 3.5 percent from the 14.1 percent it held in Q4 07.

A gain in market share that AMD picked up in Q3 08 disappeared in Q4, as the company lost 1.6 points of share, down from the 12.2 percent it held in the prior quarter. AMD lost 1.2 percentage points of market share in 2008 compared to 2007 and half a point was lost collectively by the other companies participating in the microprocessor market during the same period, iSuppli said.

"While 2008 has been a challenging year for AMD, the company has undergone a number of strategic initiatives, such as its moves to reduce its production assets," Wilkins said. "And with its 45nm products now shipping, AMD is better positioned in 2009 than it was in 2008."

Combined, Intel and AMD accounted for 92.5 percent of the microprocessor market in 2008, up from 90.9 percent in 2006.

"Clearly things are getting tougher if you're a microprocessor supplier and your name is not Intel or AMD," Wilkins said.

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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