Microprocessor revenue rises as economy stagnates

The global economy may be stagnating, but worldwide PC microprocessor revenues in the third calendar quarter of 2011 (3Q11) rose to $10.7 billion, up 12.2% compared to 2Q11 and up 16.1% compared to 3Q10.

On a unit basis, the PC microprocessor market jumped 6.7% compared to 2Q11 and increased 5.2% compared to 3Q10.

“The average selling price (ASP) that OEMs pay for PC microprocessors rose more than 5% in 3Q11, and it was the eighth quarter in a row that ASPs rose,” IDC analyst Shane Rau confirmed.

“Clearly, Intel’s Sandy Bridge and AMD’s Fusion microprocessors with integrated graphic processors are rising in each company’s product stack and driving the price increase.”

To be sure, chips with integrated graphics processors (IGP) increased to 73% of total PC processor unit volume in 3Q11.

However, Rau also noted that low-end processors, specifically Intel’s Atom chips, were declining as a percentage of the unit mix, while client PC processor demand growth has slowed down modestly.

Consequently, IDC is revising its overall growth projections for 2011.

“Combined with a weak macroeconomic outlook – due to sovereign debt issues in Europe and poor job growth in the United States – IDC is reducing its client PC processor (desktop, mobile, x86 server) unit growth forecast for 2011 from 9.3% to 7.3%,” he added.