More than 100 million graphics chips shipped in Q4

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More than 100 million graphics chips shipped in Q4

Tiburon (CA) – The graphics industry continues to grow at an astonishing rate. Intel and Nvidia are the market, selling a combined 77.1% of all graphics chips. AMD (ATI) is trailing its two rivals and is still dealing with declining unit shipments and market share.  

According to a report released by Jon Peddie Research (JPR) released today, 106.4 million graphics chips were shipped in Q4, up 27% from 83.5 million units in the fourth quarter of last year. Notebooks were the key reason for this increase in shipments: Of those 106.4 million graphics chips, 39.6 million went into laptops – which means that 37.2% of graphics chips went into mobile systems in Q4. JPR said that notebook graphics shipments climbed by 35.7% year over year, while desktop graphics units gained only 8.3%.

Intel and Nvidia are apparently the only beneficiaries of this development and are the driving forces in a market that has expanded dramatically over the past year.

Since Intel dominates the chipset segment, the company remains the largest graphics chip manufacturer overall: JPR estimates that Intel shipped 43.7 million graphics units in Q4, translating into a 43.5% market share. Intel was able to grow its shipments by 40.2% year over year. Nvidia is keeping the pace and is actually outgrowing Intel on a percentage basis: The manufacturer shipped about 33.8 million chips in Q4, translating into a 33.6% share and a 42.3% year over year growth.

AMD is still struggling to bring its graphics unit back on track, according to JPR’s numbers. Unit shipments dropped from 19.2 million in Q4 2006 to 18.6 million in Q4 2007. The firm’s market share dropped from 23.0% to 18.3% in the same time frame.  

“The fourth quarter of 2007 was seasonally good, and saw significantly greater sequential growth from the third quarter compared to last year. This is especially interesting since Q3 2007 was so good,” said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research. “The major growth in the desktop segments was for Mainstream and Value class add-in boards as is typical for the holiday period.”

Peddie confirmed that “there is strong overall demand” in the current graphics market. “There is little shift in market share between GPU vendors quarter to quarter, which suggests there is no channel stuffing or double ordering. However, Nvidia’s G80 has exceeded expectations and is on allocation,” the analyst noted.

Peddie described and 2007 as an “exceptional year” and he does “not expect to see the same kind of growth in 2008.”