Global shipments of PC graphics chips rose above expectations in 2009 and annual growth is projected to continue at least through 2011, a market research firm said.
Shipments rose 14% last year from 2008 to 425.4 million units in "an amazing comeback in this year of retrenching and recession," Jon Peddie Research reported Tuesday. The rate of growth this year is expected to nearly double, and then slow to a 10.3% rate in 2011.
In the fourth quarter of 2009, Intel led the market with a 55.2% share, followed by Nvidia, 24.3%, and Advanced Micro Devices, 19.9%, Peddie Research said. Compared to the same period in 2008, Intel increased share 7.5 percentage points, while Nvidia's share fell 6.3 points. AMD saw a 0.6 increase year to year.
Compared to the third quarter, Intel's share increased 1.6 percentage points, while Nvidia and AMD saw declines of 1 point and 0.2 of a point, respectively.
Intel's gains were due in part by sales of its low-cost Atom chips used primarily in netbooks, inexpensive mini-laptops that were the fastest-growing PC category in 2009. Intel also saw strong growth in the desktop segment.
AMD increased shipments of integrated graphics in notebooks, but lost market share in discrete graphics, which are chips used in separate graphics cards, in the desktop and notebook segments. AMD's losses were due to constraints in 40-nanometer supply, Peddie Research said. Nvidia, on the other hand, saw increases in shipments of desktop discrete graphics, while integrated graphics for desktops and notebooks slipped.
This year, the market is projected to see increases in shipments of a new product category, CPU-integrated graphics. As a result, shipments of traditional chipset graphics, also called integrated graphics processors, is expected to rapidly decline, the researcher said.
Graphics processors have played an increasingly important role in the sale of PCs for quite awhile, particularly in the consumer market. Demand for better graphics has grown as a result of the explosion of online video and multimedia content on the Web.
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