CHIP DESIGNERS ARM and Vivante have achieved significant market share gains in the system-on-chip (SoC) GPU market while Imagination and Qualcomm have seen their market shares fall.
ARM has been aggressively pushing its Mali GPU design for the last two years, while Vivante has ridden the surge in Chinese tablet sales, and these factors have resulted in both firms increasing market shares. Analyst outfit Jon Peddie Research claimed that ARM and Vivante scored first half 2012 SoC GPU market shares of 12.9 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively, while the SoC GPU market share leaders Imagination and Qualcomm both suffered declines.
ARM more than doubled its market share from the same period a year ago while Vivante went even better by almost quadrupling its market share. Not only were both firms claiming large pieces of the pie, Jon Peddie Research claimed the SoC GPU market had increased by 91.3 percent, suggesting that Qualcomm and Imagination are having a harder time getting new business. Jon Peddie told The INQUIRER that new vendors are entering the market, typically with lower prices to earn customers.
Nvidia's SoC GPU operations accounted for 2.5 percent of the total smartphone and tablet market, which given that the firm doesn't license out its GPU designs is pretty impressive. Nvidia could see its market share increase if Microsoft's Surface tablet sells well.
However there's no doubt that it is ARM and Vivante that are making moves in the SoC GPU market and as the market grows it will be interesting to see whether the two main players in the market, Imagination and Qualcomm are joined by ARM and Vivante, producing four companies each holding 20 percent market share or whether it will remain a two horse race. µ