Worldwide x86 processor demand "achieved all-time record levels for a single quarter," IDC said in a statement. Microprocessor shipments went up by 31.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to the same quarter in 2008, with AMD gaining market share in the desktop and laptop processor space, IDC said.
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Intel shipped 80.5 percent of PC microprocessors worldwide during the fourth quarter, a drop from an 81.9 percent share it held in the fourth quarter of 2008. AMD's market share was 19.4 percent during the fourth quarter, increasing from 17.7 percent the previous year.
AMD recorded major gains in the first quarter of 2009 when shipment of Intel processors like Atom plummeted, said Shane Rau, director of semiconductor research at IDC. AMD also gained share with its "willingness to be aggressive on price," Rau said.
AMD in September introduced newer and faster laptop processors belonging to the Turion II X2 and Athlon lines. The processors were part of platforms that delivered improved graphics capabilities and energy efficiency. However, Intel recently refreshed its line of laptop and desktop processors, launching new power-efficient chips that integrate the graphics processor and CPU inside a single package.
Meanwhile, the third player in the x86 microprocessor market, Via Technologies, recorded a drop in market share. The company held a 0.1 percent share, compared to 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.
AMD gained on Intel's market share in the desktop and laptop processor categories. AMD's laptop-processor market share grew to 12.7 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the 10.2 percent it held the previous year. Intel's laptop processor share dropped to 87.3 percent compared to 89.1 percent the previous year. AMD also recorded gains in the desktop processor market, with its market share up to 28.6 percent from 26 percent last year. Intel's market share dropped to 71.1 percent from the 73.9 percent share it had a year ago.