According to EE TImes, while AMD has been trying to boost its mobile processing range it seems that Qualcomm and Samsung have used the interest in smartphones and tablets to their advantage.
Unfettered by the slump in the PC market and with products in place to take advantage of the interest in tablets and smartphones, Qualcomm and Samsung have managed to push AMD off the second and third rankings to fourth.
AMD had been solidly in second place behind Intel since the 1990s. This change to mobile processors does not appear to have damaged Intel much.
Intel had $36.9 billion in sales and continued to hold a commanding 65.3 percent share of the $56.5 billion microprocessor market, followed by Qualcomm's 9.4 percent and Samsung's 8.2 percent. AMD's market share fell to 6.4 percent.
In IC Insights' list of the 10 microprocessor vendors for 2012, only Intel and AMD offer x86-based chips that run in such systems as PCs and mainstream servers. The other chip makers—including Nvidia and Texas Instruments—make mobile processors based on the ARM architecture.
Qualcomm, with $5.3 billion in sales, is the top vendor of ARM-based chips. Samsung makes chips for its own tablets and smartphones, but 83 percent of its $4.6 billion in sales were from its work in making SoCs for Apple.
AMD's fall has been as quick as it has been dramatic. In 2010 it had a market share of 9.6 percent but has been falling ever since.
The company is looking to APUs like Richland for notebooks and tablets, Temash for Windows 8-based tablets and hybrid devices and Kabinin for low-cost PCs, convertibles and hybrids as a way of pulling its coals out of the fire.