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Downturn ahead for PC processor market

Posted: 05 Nov 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PC processor  market downturn  Atom 

Despite strong PC processor sales in the most recent quarter, International Data Corp. announced that it will lower its 2009 forecast due to the widely anticipated market downturn.

"The worldwide demand environment looks weak, and both Intel and AMD indicated an uncertain outlook for the market. As a result, IDC is conservative about 2009 and will be lowering its upcoming unit forecast for the year," the company said in a statement.

Ironically, 2008 has been a banner year in PC processor sales so far, buoyed by the success of Intel's Atom. That fact drove IDC to raise its PC processor market unit forecast for 2008 to growth of 18 per cent.

Quarterly worldwide PC processor unit shipments grew 14 per cent over the previous quarter and 15.8 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2007, IDC reported. The low power x86 Atom chip accounted for nearly six per cent of that growth, the market watcher estimated.

PC processor revenue grew 7.6 per cent over the previous quarter to Rs.41,530.20 crore ($8.3 billion), according to IDC. "Not considering the effects of Atom, the overall market still grew at a decent pace in the third quarter," said Shane Rau, director of PC semiconductor research at IDC.

Intel was the big winner in the quarter with an 80.8 per cent market share, up 1.1 per cent. AMD lost 1.2 per cent in market share to fall to 18.5 per cent. Via Technologies held on to a 0.6 per cent share.

Both Intel and Via saw gains in mobile PC processors at AMD's expense. However, AMD made a slight gain in its share of server and workstation processors and held its ground in the desktop market.

-Rick Merritt
EE Times

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