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Double digit growth seen for PC chips in 2011

Posted: 16 Nov 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PC? processor? market report?

A report from International Data Corp. says that the PC processor market was flat in Q3 2010, but a pick up is starting that will lead to double-digit growth in 2011.

Global PC processor unit shipments and revenues in Q3 2010 increased just 2.1 and 2.5 percent, respectively, compared to the prior three months, said IDC. This quarter usually brings growth of about ten percent in units and revenues, IDC said. Unit sales and revenues were up 8.6 and 24.1 percent respectively over the same quarter during last year's recession, it reported.

However, IDC notes that the ramp of new Sandy Bridge processors from Intel and Fusion chips from AMD is the light at the end of the tunnel. IDC forecasts Q4 2010 will return to growth along seasonal trends, although 2H 2010 will see lower growth than the first six months of the year.

"We believe that the fourth quarter of 2010 will be a decent quarter," said Shane Rau, director, PC semiconductor group, IDC.

AMD announced production shipments of two of its Fusion chips, Zacate and Ontario. Both AMD and Intel are expected to show systems using their new parts in January.

IDC predicts 2011 will bring double-digit growth in PC systems and processor units. Business computer upgrades will drive the growth while consumer markets in developed countries are expected to remain sluggish, Rau said.

In the late spring, PC OEMs and contract manufacturers began cutting back their manufacturing, impacting processors and other PC components. "The whole supply chain is skittish," said Rau.

At its analyst meeting, AMD said the PC supply chain will continue to whittle down its inventories through the end of the year, in an effort to start 2011 with a clean slate.

Server processors showed the most life in the recent quarter, rising 4.1 percent in unit sales, another sign that businesses are entering an upgrade cycle. By contrast, desktop and mobile CPU sales rose 2.6 and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Market shares were essentially flat in the latest quarter. Intel lost 0.3 percent share overall, falling to 80.4 percent. AMD gained 0.2 percent to 19.2 percent and Via Technologies rose a tenth of a percent to 0.4 percent. Intel's biggest losses were in desktop CPUs where AMD and Via shaved 0.4 percent off the giant's market share.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times

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