Global chip market strengthens as Intel, AMD compete

Intel remains dominant chip maker, while AMD grows in worldwide mobile chip market, IDC reports

Global computer chip revenue showed strong signs of life in the third quarter, jumping 16.1% compared to the same period in 2010.

Worldwide PC microprocessor revenues hit $10.7 billion in the third quarter of 2011, which is up 12.2% compared to the preceding quarter, according to industry analyst firm IDC.

Intel and rival AMD had some ups and downs in the third quarter. AMD, for instance, showed strength in the mobile market while Intel gained in server chip sales.

"The average selling price that OEMs pay for PC microprocessors rose more than 5% in 3Q11," said Shane Rau, an analyst at IDC, in a statement. "And it was the eighth quarter in a row that it rose. Clearly, Intel's Sandy Bridge and AMD's Fusion microprocessors with integrated graphic processors are rising in each company's product stack and driving the price increase."

IDC reported that chips with integrated graphics garnered 73% of the total PC processor unit volume in the last quarter.

In general, business was good for Intel in the third quarter and AMD showed some growth.

IDC reported that Intel grabbed a full 80.2% of the global PC processor market. That's a slight gain of .9% over the second quarter of 2011. AMD showed an overall loss of 0.7% between the second and third quarters, ending up with 19.7% of the market.

However, when analysts looked at the mobile segment of the PC chip market, AMD showed strength while Intel didn't fare as well.

In the mobile arena, AMD gained 2.4% to grab 17.6% of the market share. In comparison, Intel slipped by 2.1%, ending with a still dominant 82.3% share.

As for the server/workstation segment of the market, Intel grabbed a whopping 95.1% share, a slight gain of .6% quarter over quarter. AMD dropped .6% to end up with 4.9% share.

IDC reported that AMD struggled in the desktop arena, as well. AMD held 24.1% of the market, showing a loss of 4.8%, while Intel gained a matching 4.8% to garner 75.8% of the market.

Some of these numbers echo a report from Mercury Research earlier this week.

That report also noted that global chip shipments were up. However, Mercury Research reported that AMD grabbed some overall worldwide market share from Intel.

IDC is owned by IDG, the parent company of Computerworld.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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