Global PC microprocessor shipments hit record highs in the third quarter of 2008 according to analyst firm IDC.
But the outlook for impending quarters is hard to predict, the market watcher warned.
Figures released by IDC showed worldwide PC processor unit shipments grew 14 per cent quarter on quarter, and 15.8 per cent year over year. Intel’s latest Atom processor for ultra low-cost mobile PCs boosted the market.
Shane Rau, director of semiconductors and personal computing research at IDC, said: “Not considering the effects of Atom, the overall market still grew at a decent pace in Q3. 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,” he said.
In terms of processor vendor shares, Intel controlled 80.8 per cent of the market, with AMD next on 18.5 per cent and VIA Technologies clinging on to the number three spot with 0.6 per cent.
Intel also lead the field in the mobile PC processor segment with 87.4 per cent market share. AMD was second with 11.5 per cent and VIA achieved 1.2 per cent. The story was similar in the PC server/workstation processor sector, with Intel holding 85.6 per cent market share and AMD securing 14.4 per cent. In the desktop PC processor market, Intel and AMD earned 73.5 per cent and 26.4 per cent market share respectively.
Due to the market's strong performance through the first three quarters of 2008 and anticipated high volume of Atom processors, IDC has raised its PC processor market unit forecast for this year to 18 per cent. However, 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.
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