Intel and AMD are implementing so-called graphics-enabled microprocessors (GEMs)
inside laptops and desktops on the mainstream markets this year.
Research firm iSuppli
has announced that these GEMs will be installed in about 115 million
notebooks that will ship this year, which is about half the expected shipments
for all of 2011. At the same time, the GEMs will be crammed inside about 45% of
desktop computers that ship working out to about 63 million units.
reason for the number of GEMs shipped to grow so strongly this year is that the
Bridge processors from Intel are GEMs, and AMD will be bringing its own
offering to market too.
"The two biggest players in the PC microprocessor field are intensifying their
competition in the GEM market in 2011," IHS said. "Intel at the
beginning of 2011 was getting ready to launch its second-generation Core
processor family known as Sandy Bridge, which integrates the CPU and graphics
processor into one single piece of silicon. AMD, on the other hand, will
release five application platforms with five GEM microprocessor
The GEMs allow the notebooks and desktops to handle the graphics needs of the
company and HD video rendering. They are not, however, often up to high-end 3D
gaming. Users of desktop and notebook computers that are meant for high-end 3D
gaming will still need discrete GPUs to get the performance needed to support
high-resolution graphics and fast frame rates.
ISuppli also notes that by 2014 it expects 83% of the notebooks and 76% of the
desktop computers shipped to use GEMs. Those numbers will undoubtedly hurt the
discrete GPU business of NVIDIA with its mainstream GPUs not being used as
much. NVIDIA should still be popular in the discrete GPU market for gaming
quote: Looking at the graphics improvements Intel made with the move from Arrandale to Sandy Bridge in less than one year I wonder if discrete graphics will even be necessary in 3 years.