ATI loses ground in graphics after AMD purchase

ATI graphics products lost ground in every category during the third quarter, and its acquisition by AMD is likely the reason why, says Jon Peddie Research.

ATI Technologies lost ground in every major graphics product category during the third quarter, and its acquisition by Advanced Micro Devices is probably to blame, according to Jon Peddie Research.

The purchase put ATI directly in competition with one of its major partners, Intel, according to the analysts, which is the main reason ATI's market share dropped. For the past few years, ATI has supplied the market with integrated graphics chipsets compatible with Intel microprocessors, but the purchase by AMD has slowed that gravy train. Although ATI can still make the chipsets, component makers in Taiwan say it hasn't been selling as many as before.

Jon Peddie Research figures bear out the difference. ATI's PC graphics market share slumped by 5 percentage points in the third quarter to 23 per cent, from a 28 per cent share in the second quarter of this year. Although ATI retained its hold on second place worldwide, it's a steep drop.

ATI rivals, Nvidia, Via Technologies and Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) all gained share during the three month period, while graphics leader Intel maintained its market share (40 per cent). Rounding out the top five were ATI (23 per cent), Nvidia (22), Via (10) and SIS (5).

The most dramatic market share decrease for ATI was in the mobile segment. ATI's share of the segment fell to 47 per cent in the third quarter, from 63 per cent in the second quarter. Nvidia picked up the slack, taking a 53 per cent share in the market, up from 37 per cent, according to Jon Peddie Research. The researcher also charted lost share for ATI in notebook PC and desktop PC graphics processors and integrated chipsets.

The problem wasn't with the graphics chip market overall, either. Major vendors shipped about 76 million graphics devices during the quarter, up 5.2 per cent over the second quarter and a gain of 11.2 per cent compared to the same time last year.

The trouble lay solely with ATI, the market researcher said.

AMD completed its $US5.4 billion purchase of ATI in October. The company plans to use ATI to add graphics technology to microprocessors by 2009, in a project it calls Fusion.

The integration would increase power efficiency, AMD said.

Chipmakers have already integrated graphics into chipsets, and PC makers can also buy standalone graphics processors to place on motherboards or graphics cards.

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