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IDC : Q3 PC Microprocessor Unit Shipments Up 23% Sequentially - Update

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11/9/2009 4:21 AM ET

Monday, worldwide PC microprocessor shipments in third quarter increased substantially and to all-time record levels for a single quarter in the third quarter, according to a new data from market intelligence firm IDC. PC processor unit shipments in the quarter grew 23% sequentially, about double the normal growth in unit shipments for the same period.

The IDC data indicates that PC processor market grew more than 14% sequentially to $7.4 billion in terms of revenues.

Looking at market performance by PC form factor, mobile PC processors continue to drive growth. Mobile PC processors, which include Intel's Atom processors designed for mini-notebook PCs, increased 35.7% sequentially. Desktop PC processors grew 11.4% quarter-over-quarter and x86 server processors grew 12.2%.

Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing research at IDC, said, "While Atom processors led the PC processor market to reach record unit shipments, on the revenue side, their low average selling price led to notable price erosion, more than 7%."

In the third quarter, Intel Corp. (INTC: Quote) earned 81.1% share of the worldwide PC processor market's unit shipments, a share gain of 2.2%, while Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD: Quote) earned 18.7%, a loss of 2.0%, and VIA Technologies, Inc. earned 0.2%.

By form factor, Intel earned 88% share in the mobile PC processor segment, a gain of 1.1%, AMD finished with 11.9%, a loss of 0.7%, and VIA earned 0.2% in the quarter. In the PC server/workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 90.4% market share, a gain of 0.5%, and AMD earned 9.6%, a loss of 0.5%.

In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel earned 72.2%, a gain of 2.0%, and AMD earned 27.4%, a loss of 1.9%. VIA earned 0.3% share in the quarter.

Looking ahead, IDC has raised its forecast for PC processor unit shipments in 2009 to well over 300 million units and a unit growth rate of 1.5% compared to last year, due to the market's performance and higher demand for PCs, particularly mobile PCs, seen early in the fourth quarter.

Rau noted that compared to where the market was at the beginning of 2009, PC processors have come back remarkably strong.

Meanwhile, IDC is conservative about early 2010. According to Rau, the market's growth has been due to shipments of inexpensive Atom processors being sold into markets like China, which is being stimulated by government incentives there.

"The Chinese market can be very opaque--there are lots of places where inventories can hide. We have to be on the lookout for when China decides it can't consume more processors. Meanwhile, the U.S. market is still hamstrung by housing foreclosures and rising job losses," Rau added.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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