AMD's positions on the processor market is not growing
Ryzen processors proved to be very successful and allowed AMD to compete with Intel again on almost all segments of the computer market. It is not surprising that the latest forecasts were quite optimistic about the prospects of AMD, especially against the backdrop of the difficulties of Intel, due to the lack of 14-nm processors. Our colleagues from Tom's Hardware decided to study how much AMD has advanced in the issue of regaining market share, and in fact the situation was not so rosy.
The latest analysts' comments describes completely different perspectives on AMD's share of the processor market, from growth to a breakthrough on an incredibly optimistic scale. For example, in a recent report DigiTimes, which was created on the basis of data obtained from industry sources, it is said that AMD could take up to 30% of the processor market by the end of 2018. At the same time, the report noted that the growth of market share will also be provided by 7-nm processors, but AMD should release them only next year. And this means that such a bold forecast should be treated with distrust.
Much more informative are the actual estimates of Mercury Research, which has proven itself in the collection and processing of various statistics in the semiconductor industry. The numbers below reflect a consistent change in the proportion of AMD processors in shipments, excluding IOT (Internet of things) devices.
According to Mercury Research, AMD processors were installed in 12.3% of new desktop PCs worldwide in the second half of this year. This means that Intel remains 87.7% of the desktop market. For AMD, this is not very impressive, but it should be understood that a significant part of AMD's success is reflected not so much in the growth of supplies as in the increase in the average selling price of its processors. Customers, both new and old, began to buy more expensive chips, so despite a slight increase in market share, AMD's revenues increased significantly.
Unfortunately, the final report of Mercury Research for the third quarter of this year will be published in about a month, and we can not reliably estimate how well things are going at AMD at the moment. But Mercury Research analyst Dean McCarron explained that in order to secure 30% of the PC market in the fourth quarter, AMD needs to increase sales by 250% compared to the same period in 2017. Or, Intel's processor shipments are expected to fall by 65% year-on-year. Both are absolutely fantastic events: since 2000 the maximum decrease in deliveries of Intel processors for quarter made only 24 %, and the maximum increase in deliveries of AMD processors — 57 %. Therefore, even if both companies repeat these extreme results, the share of AMD will be able to reach only 20 %.
In other words, if in some incredible way the share of AMD processors really reaches 30% in the fourth quarter of 2018, it will be an unprecedented shock in the history of the entire computer market. And it will lead to far-reaching consequences, which it is not possible to assess. It is hardly necessary, since the probability of such events is extremely low.
Although there is now a shortage of 14-nm Intel processors, the microprocessor giant is unlikely to lose a significant market share. According to the manufacturer, the shortage of 14-nm processors is not due to a decrease in supply, but to an increase in demand. Yes, the delay of 10-nm processors does not play into the hands of the company, but it can seriously harm it only next year.
However, the retail market for Intel Core processors is really lacking, which is why prices have been rising for several weeks, especially on the Intel Core K-series. This means that retail sales of AMD processors may actually increase significantly as a result. Moreover, the traditionally "hot" pre-holiday season will start very soon, which last year was very successful for AMD, and this year the situation may repeat.
Finally, it is logical to expect an increase in the growth rate of AMD's share next year, after the release of 7-nm processors for desktop PCs. This should happen before Intel releases its 10-nm desktop processors. Which, according to the latest rumors, may be delayed at all until 2020.
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