Worldwide recession? The CPU makers don’t seem to be feeling it. IDG is claiming that processor shipments worldwide for the third quarter of this year rose a whopping twenty-three percent over the same period a year prior. While much of that growth can be attributed to the explosive rise in netbook and nettop CPUs, there are a couple of surprises. Shipments aren’t the only indicator of growth, however – in terms of revenue, the overall CPU market grew by fourteen percent, to a total of $7.4 billion.
It’s no surprise that leading the way was the growth driven by mobile PC processor – especially Intel’s Atom. That segment of the market grew 35.7% this past quarter. It’s good news for desktops and servers, too, though: desktop CPUs grew 11.4% and server CPUs grew another 12.2%. The slimmer price margins represented by sales of those low-power mobile processors are why even though market growth was so high, market revenue was less than half – at 14.1% over the year prior.
Still, growth at all is good news, especially considering the economy these past few months. The fact that the market grew as much as it did is a sign that the processor market is recovering – and then some. In terms of marketshare, Intel snagged 81.1% of total CPU shipments, which represents a gain of just over two percent. It seems like that 2% was taken directly from AMD, who pulled in 18%, a loss of that two percent. VIA is still alive, earning 0.2% of the overall market. Breaking the list down by platform shows Intel bringing in 88% of mobile CPUs, gaining 1.1%, while AMD lost 0.7% to come to 11.9% and VIA earned 0.2%. In servers, Intel owns an even more commanding share of the market at 90.4%, gaining another 0.5%. That loss is taken once again directly from AMD, who lost 0.5% to come in at 9.6%. They have a stronger case for the desktop market, though, likely a result of their higher value proposition (that is, what you get for your dollar): they pulled in 27.4% but still lost 1.9% to Intel, who took 72.2%, gaining a full on 2% of the marketshare. VIA, surprisingly, earned another 0.3%.
IDC says that a lot of that market growth is a result of pushing cheap Intel Atom CPUs into China. Their local economy is experiencing growth thanks to government stimulus packages. Unfortunately, the industry group goes on to say that the US market is “still hamstrung by housing foreclosures and rising job losses.” IDG