Intel continues to dominate CPU market  (Source: Intel)
Intel is still the clear leader in the market

The two major players in the CPU market globally are Intel and AMD. While they are first and second place, the gap between the two is enormous with Intel clearly in the lead on the global market.

The latest numbers from IHS iSuppli show that Intel was first for the full year of 2010 in global revenue with 81% of all sales. That is a slight growth of 0.4% from the full year 2009 results Intel posted. AMD ended 2010 with 11.4% of the global processor revenue. That was a decline of 0.8% compared to the 12.2% AMD finished with in 2009.

The numbers look worse for AMD when you look at Q4 only. AMD lost market share in Q4 2010 compared to the same quarter of 2009 with a 12.2% decline. Compared to Q3 2010, Q4 was down 11.4%. The overall revenue in the microprocessor market boomed in 2010 to $40 billion, a growth of 25% compared to 2009.

This year AMD has benefited from Intel's Sandy Bridge chipset woes so this quarter may look different for AMD.

ISuppli pointed out that the tablet market grew significantly in 2010 and that by 2015 it expects 240 million units to ship. The research firm predicts that unit shipments of media tablets grew to 17.4 million in 2010 compared to no shipments in 2009. Much of that number is attributed to the Apple iPad.

"The year 2010 was a period of major transitions in the microprocessor market, with suppliers facing a raft of changes, ranging from the new competitive threat posed by media tablets to the robust post-recession recovery, to the technology revolution spurred by the rise of graphics-enabled microprocessors (GEMs)," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst of computer platforms for IHS. "Despite these developments, the competitive state of affairs remained very much the same two-horse race it has been for more than 20 years, with Intel firmly in the lead and AMD a distant second."

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