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Microprocessor Market Sets Third-Quarter Record. - 11/4/2009 7:56:12 AM   


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Intel's market share nudged up slightly during the third quarter, while AMD slipped, according to new research released Tuesday by Mercury Research.

Overall, the market barely set a record for the number of microprocessors sold, Mercury reported, without divulging the actual unit volumes.  Third-quarter unit volumes were up just 1 percent over the third quarter of 2008.

All indications are that the market is returning to normal seasonality, meaning growth in the third quarter, and an even stronger uptick in the fourth quarter, analyst Dean McCarron said in a note sent to reporters.  Volume continues to be driven by notebooks and notebook processors, he said;  in that category, unit growth climbed by 22 percent.  Desktop and server processor shipments fell.

"All evidence at the moment suggests the high level of CPU shipments is due to actual OEM demand and there is no significant component inventory building taking place," McCarron wrote.  "This does not, however, preclude an inventory build in finished systems from occurring in the fourth quarter if demand fails to materialize."

That is exactly what happened during the fourth quarter of 2008;  when consumer plunged in the first weeks of December, the industry was left with a holdover of inventory that carried over into the new year.

During the third quarter, Intel captured 81.5 of the processor market, versus 80.5 percent a quarter ago and 81.2 percent during the third quarter of 2008. AMD, by contrast, slipped to 17.8 percent from 18.7 percent during the second quarter of 2008, while remaining essentially flat with the 17.7 percent share the firm captured in the third quarter of 2008.

Via, the only other PC microprocessor vendor in the market, captured a 0.7 percent market share, versus 0.9 percent a year ago and 1.1 percent the year before.

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