There was an immeasurable distance between the quick and the dead: they did not seem to belong to the same species; and it was strange to think that but a little while before they had spoken and moved and eaten and laughed - W. Somerset Maugham
CHIPMAKER Intel saw a marginal increase in market share over the course of 2011 as AMD's Fusion chip saw the firm make up ground in the laptop market.
Industry analysts IDC totted up the scores for the two big x86 chip vendors in 2011 and came out with some good news for both AMD and Intel. Revenue from flogging chips rose by 13.2 per cent, bringing the total market revenue for 2011 to $41bn, with the majority of it going to Intel.
Intel managed to increase its market share in 2011 by 0.1 per cent to 80.3 per cent, while AMD lost 0.1 per cent leaving it with 19.6 per cent. That in itself isn't terrible news for AMD but when IDC broke down the figures into laptop and server chips, there was mixed news for AMD.
AMD's laptop chip market share, which the firm went after with gusto following the launch of its Llano chips in the middle of 2011, rose by 2.7 per cent to 16 per cent, while Intel's market share fell by 2.6 per cent to 83.8 per cent. While AMD was reaping the rewards of its Llano chips, its Bulldozer Opterons did nothing to demolish Intel's considerable market share in servers.
Even after delays to its Sandy Bridge Xeon chips, Intel managed to increase x86 server market share by 1.4 per cent to 94.5 per cent, while AMD lost 1.5 per cent leaving it with just 5.5 per cent. Bulldozer also failed to spark any life in the desktop market for AMD, with the firm ending up with 26 per cent market share, a drop of 1.6 per cent, while Intel added 1.7 per cent to end the year with 73.8 per cent.
AMD's performance disappointment with the Bulldozer architecture is unfortunate for the firm, and it needs to iterate the architecture quickly and not have to worry about fab issues at either Globalfoundries or TSMC. While the laptop market is clearly warming to AMD's Fusion chips, the firm knows it needs to capture at least 10 per cent of the server market to be taken seriously.
IDC forecasts that x86 processor shipments will grow by 5.1 per cent in 2012, and AMD's goal must be to win a significant share of that new business. µ
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