AMD gains ground on Intel in Q3

AMD increased its share of the processor market in the third quarter, according to Mercury Research data.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) picked up a couple of market share points on Intel in the third quarter, due mainly to AMD's strongest competitive position against the world's largest chip maker in years, according to Mercury Research.

Intel shipped 80.8 percent of all desktop, notebook and server processors using the x86 instruction set in the third quarter, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst with Mercury Research. AMD's share of that same market was 17.8 percent, he said. In the third quarter of last year, Intel held 82.1 percent of the market, and AMD garnered 15.9 percent.

AMD gained share in every segment of the market, McCarron said. He declined to break out each company's market share within desktops, notebooks, and servers, but noted that AMD's presence in the server market is beginning to pay off and the company also now has a notebook processor in its Turion chip that is starting to attract attention.

"I don't think this paints a picture of Intel as weak, it's just AMD is considerably stronger than they used to be," McCarron said.

Intel has taken some lumps this year on the server side of the processor market. AMD released a dual-core Opteron processor in April, while Intel's first dual-core server chips did not emerge until last month. Industry executives from companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell believe Intel's Xeon chips lag behind AMD's Opteron chips in delivering server performance, something that has been credited for AMD's market share rise this year.

AMD's high-water mark in the x86 processor market came in the second quarter of 2001, when the company shipped 21.8 percent of x86 processors. However, that figure was driven largely by desktop processors, whereas the company's current product lineup is much more diverse, McCarron said.

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