Graphics market has worst ever year

  • Sales of graphics chips in 2009 are the worst ever - worse even than when the dotcom bubble went pop.

    That's according to Jon Peddie Research, and there's more to this sad picture than meets the eye.

    Peddie says that graphics chip shipments - say that when you've had a few - are a leading market indicator because the chips go original design manufacturers (ODMs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) - the builders of PCs.

    But the market research company strikes a positive note because it believes the worst is over and there will be signs of recovery in the third quarter. It bases that hope on its own data, on interviews with suppliers, and on world economic forecast models.

    Notebooks, netbooks will remain strong but graphics chips will still go into desktops. Power users and professionals still like desktops a lot.

    Starting in Q3, major architectural changes and products from Intel, Nvidia and AMD-ATI will upset the status quo. Growth will come in 2010 because of Microsoft and Apple's new operating systems.

    And the graphics processing unit (GPU) will become a seriously cheap and powerful co-processor thanks to programming capabilities such as OpenCL, DirectX 11 and the CUDA architecture.

    This little table from JPR shows annual percentage growth rates from 2002 to 2011.