AMD Eats Into Intel’s Market Share

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AMD might still be a distant second place to big bad Intel, but IDC’s latest report shows that they’ve still got some moxy up their sleeve. While overall chip sales were even with the same period last year, AMD managed to eke out a little growth, all at Intel’s cost.

AMDIn the most recent quarter, Intel managed to pull up 79.3% of the overall worldwide market share, losing 1.5% from the same period in 2010. AMD earned 20.4%, exactly 1.5% more than the same time last year. The growth isn’t limited to just one form factor, either. When it comes to mobile processors (which currently means laptops and a just a couple of tablets), Intel held 84.4% – they’ve been very strong in the mobile market for a very long time. That’s still a loss of 1.9% over last year, which AMD ate up, growing by the same amount to a total of 15.2%. Desktops fared similarly, with Intel earning 70.9%, again losing 1.5% over a similar period the year prior, with AMD gaining 1.5% to finish at 28.9. VIA earned 0.4% and 0.6% of the market in mobile and desktops, respectively.

The one area where AMD didn’t fare quite so well came in the high-end server and workstation market, with their Opteron processors running up against Intel’s Xeon juggernauts. Intel controlled a massive 94.5% of this high-end space, actually winning another 0.6%. AMD lost that 0.6% to finish at just 5.5% of the market.

It’s not too surprising that AMD managed to make some headwind in the marketplace, especially when it comes to mobile chips. Thanks to a recent economic recession, consumers and corporations alike have been looking for ways to cut costs, and the value proposition that AMD offers over Intel can be, at times, staggering. Combine this with the fact that more users are skipping Atom-powered notebooks and nettops for ARM-powered cell phones and tablets, and the numbers start to pile up against Chipzilla. The fact that AMD launched an all microarchitecture this year also contributed.

Intel still controls a mind-numbingly large portion of the market, however, and they certainly aren’t sitting still. Ivy Bridge, currently rumored to be delayed until next year, will bring with it a 22nm manufacturing process as well as Intel’s “3D” transistors. The company is also threatening to break into the highly competitive mobile phone market, which could spell trouble for ARM – if Intel can provide more powerful chips at a given power load, it wouldn’t take much for the industry to switch.

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