Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated graphics chip shipments and suppliers' market share for Q1'11. We found that shipments during the first quarter of 2011 behaved according to past years with regard to seasonality, and was nominal on a year-to-year comparison for the quarter. The situation changed over the course of the year and Q4'10 did not conform to the normal seasonal cycle, but was down a bit compared to previous years, so the growth in Q1 was a welcomed change. Our forecast for the coming years has been modified since the last report, and is less aggressive on both desktops and notebooks.
The quarter in general
- In Q1'11, Intel celebrated its fifth quarter of Embedded Processor Graphics CPU (EPG, a multi-chip design that combined a graphics processor and CPU in the same package) shipments, and enjoyed its second quarter of HPU (heterogeneous processor unit) shipments.
- AMD and Intel gained in overall market share at the expense of Nvidia from the last quarter.
- Year to year this quarter AMD had tremendous market share growth, Intel had above average growth, and Nvidia slipped significantly.
- The Q1'11 change in total shipments from last quarter increased 10.3%, significantly above the ten-year average of -4% raising concerns about an inventory buildup that will have to run down in Q2.
- Netbooks continued to contribute to notebook growth. However, the iPad has probably cannibalized some netbook sales.
- Around 83 million PCs shipped worldwide in Q1'11, a drop of 5.4% compared to Q4'10, (based on an average of reports from Dataquest, IDC, and iSuppli) causing speculation on that the 10% up-swing in graphics could be inventory buildup and will have a negative impact on Q2.
Graphics chips (GPUs) and chips with graphics (IGPs, HPUs, and EPGs) are the leading indicator of the PC market. At least one, and often two GPUs are present in every PC shipped. It can take a form of a discrete chip, integrated in the chipset or embedded in the CPU. The average has grown from 115% in 2001 to almost 145% GPUs per PC.
The Q3 to Q4 market change of 2008 was the worst the industry has ever seen with shipments down, -35%. Q4 to Q1 in 2009/2010 marked a shift back into a quarterly seasonality situation, albeit below the ten-year average, that return to normal seasonality was amplified this quarter.
Over 125 million graphics chips and CPUs with graphics shipped in Q1 2011. Intel was the leader in unit shipments for the quarter, elevated by Clarksdale, continued Atom sales for Netbooks, and Sandy Bridge. However, on a quarter-to-quarter basis AMD gained market share at NVIDIA's expense.
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