iPad, laptops drive integrated chip market

Standalone graphics chips making way for smaller, less power hungry integrated chips

Four out of five PC laptops that ship in 2014 are expected to use integrated graphics processors, according to a report released today.

In four years, integrated processors will be used in 82.9% of PC laptops, compared with 39% today, according to a report from research company iSuppli . The tech market's shift to smaller devices is helping to drive this move from the traditional setup of having separate graphics cards in the system to integrated chips.

"The booming popularity of products like ultraportable notebooks and Apple's iPad has put the spotlight on products with small and innovative form factors," said Matthew Wilkins, a principal analyst, with iSuppli, in a statement. "To develop such products, PC makers are adopting highly integrated semiconductor solutions that use less power and generate less heat, thus allowing smaller form factors. By integrating functions that normally would be implemented in a separate graphics chip, graphics-enabled microprocessors play a key role in aiding this effort."

Wilkins noted that Appleused its own A4 microprocessor as an integrated silicon solution in its iPad . The integrated processor helps designers build a small device because it takes up less space than a processor and a discrete graphics card working together.

Greg Richardson, an analyst with Technology Business Research, noted that since integrated chips use less power but also deliver less performance than their separate counterparts, a lot of people are turning to them as low-power alternatives to pricier standalone chips.

"I would say the role of integrated graphics is functionality. They're adequate enough for your everyday user who doesn't necessarily need the graphics capabilities of standalone graphics chips," Richardson said. "We have really seen a shift in the market. As PC users are growing up, they are focusing more on functionality and efficiency, versus the sheer power and luxury of high-end systems."

He added that during a sluggish economy, corporate buyers and consumers also are more likely to go with an integrated chip simply because they're cheaper.

"The value of the integrated graphics processor shines because it is a reliable, usable tool that may not be flashy, but gets the job done for everyday users," said Richardson.

The iSuppli report noted that Intel , which features integrated processors in its Core i Series chips [http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9180285/FAQ_Which_Intel_chip_is_right_for_your_new_iMac_, is benefiting from this turn in the market. iSuppli analysts also noted that Intel rival AMD is expected to launch graphics-enabled processors in the fourth quarter of this year or early in 2011.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileAppleprocessorstelecommunicationhardware systemslaptopsiSuppliComponentsMobile and WirelessMacintosh

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?