SAN FRANCISO—Microprocessor market share gain was virtually nil in 2010, as Intel Corp. continued to dominate smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. with an estimated 81 percent market share, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli.
Global microprocessor market revenue snapped back in 2010 following the recession of 2009, according to IHS. Revenue in 2010 surged 25 percent to $40 billion after a 6 percent decline in 2009, the firm said.
Intel's final 2010 market share was up a scant 0.4 percent points from 2009, when the company held an 80.6 percent market share, according to IHS. No. 2 player AMD. finished the year with 11.4 percent market share, down nearly a point from 12.2 percent in 2009, according to IHS.
Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at IHS said 2010 was a period of major transitions in the microprocessor market, with suppliers facing changes ranging from the new competitive threat posed by media tablets to the robust post-recession recovery to the technology revolution spurred by the rise of graphics-enabled microprocessors (GEMs).
"Despite these developments, the competitive state of affairs remained very much the same two-horse race it has been for more than 20 years, with Intel firmly in the lead and AMD a distant second," Wilkins said. "While the static market share situation is emblematic of the mature conditions in the PC segment of the microprocessor industry, the competitive situation remained intense in 2010, with the two companies fighting for every dollar possible from original equipment manufacturers."
IHS estimates that unit shipments of media tablets soared to 17.4 million in 2010, up from zero in 2009, thanks almost completely to Apple Inc.'s iPad. The firm expects unit shipments to continue to grow to reach more than 240 million units in 2015.
As a result of the rise of the tablet, many of which use non-x86 processors, semiconductor revenue from this market segment represent a significant opportunity not just for suppliers such as Samsung, which is already present in the fledgling tablet market, but also for PC processor incumbents AMD and Intel, IHS said.
Wilkins noted that PC microprocessor technology underwent a fundamental change in 2010, with both Intel and AMD offering GEMs. GEMs represented more than one-third of total microprocessor shipments for notebook and desktop PCs alike in 2010, IHS said.
Fourth quarter microprocessor market data revealed no significant changes in worldwide microprocessor market shares as well, IHS said. Intel accounted for 81.5 percent of global microprocessor revenue during the fourth quarter, gaining 0.5 percent of share compared to a year ago in the fourth quarter of 2009, IHS said. On a sequential basis, Intel gained 0.7 percent of share from the 80.8 percent it held in the third quarter of 2010.
For both sequential and year-over comparisons, AMD lost market share, with the greatest loss occurring relative to the fourth quarter of 2009, IHS said. In the fourth quarter, AMD accounted for 10.9 percent of the worldwide microprocessor market by revenue, down from 11.4 percent in the third quarter of 2010, and down from 12.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to IHS.