Microprocessor diversity threatens X86 hegemony

San Francisco, Calif. Intel has managed to expand its lead in the struggling global microprocessor sector by capturing 80.6 percent of the segment’s revenue during the second quarter of 2009. However, the company’s traditional X86 hegemony may soon be threatened by an increasingly diverse microprocessor market.

Indeed, the above-mentioned market share data included non-X86 microprocessors manufactured by a number of companies, including IBM, Freescale Semiconductor, Marvell Technology, Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, Samsung, NEC, PMC and Via.

Vendor Q209 Q109 Q208 Q2
Intel 80.6% 79.1% 79.2% 1.5% 1.4%
AMD 11.5% 12.8% 11.9% -1.4% -0.4%
Others 7.9% 8.1% 8.9% -0.1% -0.9%

“Intel benefited as the global PC market took a small first step toward recovery in the second quarter, with global shipments rising by 1 percent from the first quarter,” explained iSuppli analyst Michael Wilkins. “However, with PC shipments still down compared to a year earlier, Intel actually suffered a decline in microprocessor revenue compared to a year earlier, as did chief rival AMD.”

Wilkins explained that Intel experienced “strong demand” for its new-generation products across all segments, including desktops, notebooks and servers. However, only the notebook sector produced growth (13 percent) – compared to the second quarter of 2008.

Similarly, both the desktop PC and entry-level server segments declined on a year-over basis.

In contast, AMD lost 0.4 percentage points of market share compared to a year earlier, and declined by 1.4 points of share on a sequential basis from the first quarter of 2009.

“AMD didn’t benefit from the small sequential rise in PC sales because its average microprocessor pricing was lower than that from the first quarter of 2009,” added Wilkins.

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