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CPU and GPU chips account for half of $111bn chip market

Application specific cores are the next big thing
Thu May 17 2012, 16:50

ANALYST OUTFIT IMS Research claims that half of the processor market is made up of chips that have CPUs and GPUs integrated on the same die.

The firm's findings show that chips that include both CPU and GPU cores now account for half of the $111bn processor market. According to its report, this growth has all but destroyed the integrated graphics market, but the company said that discrete GPUs will continue to see growth.

Tom Hackenberg, semiconductors research manager at IMS Research said, "Through the last decade the mobile and media consumption device markets have been pivotal for this hybridization trend; Apple, Broadcom, Marvell, Mediatek, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, St Ericsson, Texas Instruments and many other processor vendors have been offering heterogeneous application-specific processors with a microprocessor core integrating a GPU to add value within extremely confined parameters of space, power and cost."

Hackenberg made an interesting point as to why both AMD and Intel are pushing deeper into their respective CPU and GPU on-die strategies, suggesting that it is a way to easily design an embedded processor for use in handheld devices.

According to Hackenberg, "With double digit revenue growth in these markets, it's not surprising to see major processor vendors such as AMD and Intel adopting this strategy to compete for computer market share and expending increasing research and development on embedded solutions."

He also claimed that in the future chip vendors will have to push application specific cores to sell chips rather than rely on higher frequencies. Both AMD and Intel have long relied on higher frequencies to market successive generations of their respective chips, however application specific cores such as security-on-silicon look set to be the way chip vendors will try to stand out in the future. µ


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