AMD comes on strong in notebook market as Intel and NVIDIA weaken slightly

The world economy and especially the economy in the U.S. is a hot topic. The poor economy is the reason cited by many companies from auction giant eBay to massive consumer electronics retailers like Best Buy and Circuit City for falling profits.

So far, the GPU industry is maintaining its growth, which is an impressive feat. The latest figures are in from Jon Peddie Research (JPR) on the overall GPU industry for Q3 2008. JPR reports that more than one third of computer systems shipping today use multiple GPUs accounting for some of the increased growth in the market. In Q3 2008 111 million GPUs were shipped, that is up from 91 million GPUs shipped the same quarter of 2007.

In Q2 2008, 94 million GPUs were shipped. Those numbers represent a growth of close to 18% quarter-to-quarter and 22.5% compared to last year. JPR reports that almost all GPU makers grew over the quarter. Only SiS saw a loss and Matrox didn’t grow at all.

AMD showed the biggest quarterly growth with a 33.8% gain from 18.1% on Q2 2008 to 20.6% this quarter. Intel still holds the most market share at 49.4% compared to 47.3% last quarter. NVIDIA grew 4.4% to a market share of 27.8% for Q3 2008.

In the desktop GPU market, Intel shipments grew giving it a 43.9% share of the market compared to NVIDIA's market share decline to 32.6%. AMD gained market share growing to 20.3% for the quarter. In the notebook market Intel saw its shipments drop one point to 56.2% of the market NVIDIA's share dropped to 21.8% from 23.6% in Q2 2008. AMD grew at the expense of Intel and NVIDIA from 17.9% share in Q2 2008 to 20.9% share in Q3 2008.

Dr. Jon Peddie said in a statement, "The third quarter is seasonally up as OEMs place orders for chips to build inventory for the holiday season. However, this quarter was up more than any other for some time, and in spite of suggestions of a recession that started last Q4. Desktops increased seasonally and notebooks enjoyed quite significant gains."

NVIDIA is coming on strong though and thinks that its new 9400M GPU for the notebook market could grab it up to 30% of the notebook market. The new NVIDIA GPU has already replaced Intel's parts in the MacBook line and is looking to oust Intel graphics from other computers coming to market as well. NVIDIA and Apple claimed that the 9400M GPU offered about five times more performance than the Intel GPUs that had been used in MacBook systems.

If NVIDIA can deliver on its goals for the 9400M, we may see a new landscape in Q4 2008, traditionally the biggest quarter for computer makers. With the slowing economy, many might expect to see drops moving into the holiday season. However, consumer electronics is one of the only product categories expected to see growth in shipments over the 2008 holiday season, which is widely expected to be the worst holiday season since the early 1990's.

However, Intel has vowed to do what it takes to get the business back that NVIDIA has taken. Perhaps a new Intel GPU will come soon that offers performance on par with NVIDIA's offerings.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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