The economy may be slowing, but you couldn’t tell it by looking at the microprocessor markets. For the first time, mobile chips outsold desktop-oriented versions. This isn’t surprising, considering the uptick in netbooks and mobile internet devices, and the more advanced chips used therein. Research groups have noted the largest increase in third quarter shipments in graphics chips in six years. For AMD, all of the news comes as a mixed blessing.
In the CPU market, AMD lost marketshare to Intel. Intel snagged another five percent marketshare over a year ago, topping out at 81.2 percent, while AMD lost over five percent in the same time period. AMD has really seen some painful times since Intel launched its Core microarchitecture. With AMD’s 45nm process not launching in the desktop areas until next year, it remains to be seen what effect Nehalem will bring.
It’s not all bad news, however, as the purchase of ATI is proving more and more to have been a great decision for AMD. ATI now owns over twenty percent of the market for both desktop and laptop graphics cards. While they’re still in third place behind Intel and NVIDIA, this is good news for the company. As Intel saw growth in both segments, much of this gain is likely due to NVIDIA losing ground (thanks in no small part to the absolute fiasco with failing chips). Intel had better watch out, however; Apple recently announced new laptops with NVIDIA graphics chipsets. How much this will effect their overall marketshare will take some time to be seen.