Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) grabbed a bigger piece of the global market in the fourth quarter of 2009.
And AMD's advance came at the expense of rival Intel, research company iSuppli reported. However, Intel still holds a substantial lead over its rival.
AMD, in the final quarter of 2009, accounted for 12.1 percent of the global microprocessor market, gaining 1.6 percent of market share from the same period in 2008, iSuppli noted. AMD also gained 0.28 percent over its market share during the previous quarter.
The company's gains are notable because they appear to have come at the expense of its biggest rival, Intel.
Intel had 80.6 percent of the global microprocessor market in the fourth quarter of the year, according to iSuppli, losing 1 percent compared to the same quarter of 2008. Intel did show a slight gain, up 0.1 percent from its market share in the third quarter of 2009.
"For the full year of 2009, the market share situation was somewhat more balanced with AMD and Intel picking up two-tenths and three-tenths of a percent of share, respectively, in 2009 compared to 2008," said Matthew Wilkins, a principal analyst at iSuppli, in a written statement. "This is an interesting development because PC average selling prices dropped significantly during the course of 2009, especially for notebooks. So, the fact that AMD and Intel virtually maintained their market share at the annual level shows that neither supplier was overly punished by the dropping [prices]."
It also means that neither Intel nor AMD could capitalize on the situation, he said.
Industry analysts are optimistic that the entire chip market will see an upswing in 2010, possibly putting the economic turbulence of the last several years behind it.
Late in January, analyst firm IDC reported that PC chip shipments in the last quarter of 2009 indicated that the market was on its way back after the recession.
Based on its increased optimism, IDC said it had raised its 2010 forecast for growth in PC processor unit shipments to 15.1 percent compared to 2009.
Last fall, Gartner Inc. predicted that global semiconductor revenue would rebound in 2010 after sales declines of more than 10 percent in 2009. Gartner predicted that 2010 worldwide semiconductor revenue would hit $255 billion, up 13 percent from 2009 and about the same as 2008.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld . Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is email@example.com .
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