The global x86 processor market showed strength in the third quarter of this year, posting 15.8% growth in terms of unit shipments. The big winner of the quarter was Intel??™s Atom processor, market research firm IDC said.
Intel??™s low-cost processor seems to be driving the PC market to new record highs, despite a difficult economic climate. IDC said that the high-volume shipments of the processor series have prompted the company to increase its forecasted market unit growth rate for this year to 18.0%.
A year-over-year Q3 growth rate of 15.8% looks strong, but hides Atom??™s true impact: Without Atom, the PC processor market grew just 8.7%. Atom shifted the overall product mix, which is also reflected in revenue growth, which could not keep pace with unit growth: IDC said that revenue grew just 4.1% to $8.3 billion.
Atom also helped Intel to increase its market share especially in the mobile segment. IDC estimates that Intel earned 87.4% share, a gain of 0.8 points, while AMD finished with 11.5%, a loss of 1.1 points. VIA posted 1.2%, a gain of 0.3 points.
The green team looks much better in the server segment, in which the ???fixed??? Barcelona quad-core CPUs are showing some impact. IDC estimates that AMD earned 14.4% during Q3, a gain of 0.6 points, while Intel finished with 85.6% market share, a loss of 0.6 points. In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel and AMD earned 73.5% and 26.4% share, respectively. Share changes were negligible, IDC said.
Overall, Intel ended the quarter with 80.8% market share, a gain of 1.1 points. AMD crossed the finish line at 18.5%, a loss of 1.2 points and VIA Technologies is estimated at about 0.6%.
"Not considering the effects of Atom, the overall market still grew at a decent pace in the third quarter,??? said Shane Rau, an analyst with IDC. ???Intel's and AMD's shipments grew at a rate only slightly slower than typical for a third quarter, and seasonal demand appeared reasonable up until September. By segment, while the mobile processor segment grew aggressively, the server segment was soft."
Going forward, IDC said that ???the worldwide demand environment looks weak??? and noted that it ???will be lowering its upcoming  unit forecast for the year.???
Source: TG Daily