CPU Market Decline To Continue Through 1H 2009

We know -- huge shock, right? As with the GPU market right now, the CPU market is also struggling, and a recent report from research firm IDC suggests that it'll continue to do so throughout the first half of 2009. With both Intel and AMD reeling from tough Q4s, it wouldn't take a full blown report for the layperson to assume that chip demand was sinking. That said, we'll always take the facts over speculation.

The IDC article noted that "worldwide PC microprocessor shipments fell significantly in the fourth calendar quarter of 2008, and further demand decline in 1Q09 points to a very poor outlook for the first half of this year." By the numbers, global PC processor unit shipments declined 17 percent quarter-over-quarter in Q4 2008 and 11.4 percent year-over-year. During the same period, market revenue declined 18 percent QoQ and 22.2 percent YoY to $6.78 billion. It was noted, however, that Intel's Atom processor "continued to make a notable difference in the overall market performance but not enough to help the market avoid dramatic decline. Without the Atom, worldwide PC processor unit shipments would have declined 21.7 percent QoQ and 21.6 percent YoY."

According to Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing research at IDC: "The decline in PC processor unit shipments in the fourth quarter was the worst sequential decline since IDC started tracking processor shipments in 1996. After hinting at a decline last September, the market fell of a cliff in October and November." When looking at individual vendors, it was clear that Intel still had the market wrapped around its finger with a remarkable 81.9 percent market share, while AMD earned just 17.7 percent and VIA earned 0.4 percent. What we're interested to see is how this is all supposed to turn around in 2H 2009. Are chip makers really going to present new products that we simply can't resist? Or will things just begin to level back out? We suppose time will tell.
Tags:  AMD, Intel, CPU, VIA, Economy, Market