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ATI, Nvidia, SIS gain from Intel's chipset famine

Chip giant's fortunes to reverse in Q2 2006, apparently

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The effect of Intel's chipset shortage is clear for all to see in the latest 2005 market data from Mercury Research: the chip giant's share of the chipset business has tumbled from a peak of 69 per cent in Q1 to an estimated 53 per cent in Q4.

And the situation isn't going to improve for some time. Intel CFO Andy Bryant this week said the company's chipset supply will remain "tight" through Q2 2006, and investment house Goldman Sachs told clients it expects Intel's share of the market to fall to 47 per cent in Q1 2006, before rallying to 52 per cent in Q2.

The two researchers' numbers, which come by way of an Xbit Labs report, list ATI, Nvidia and SIS as the gainers from Intel's loss.

ATI, for instance, has seen its market share rise from three per cent in Q1 to an estimated 11 per cent in Q4, according to Mercury Research, which expects SIS to take 12 per cent of the market this quarter, up from seven per cent in Q1. Nvidia's share has risen more modestly, from six per cent in Q1 to eight per cent in Q4.

Goldman Sachs' forecast puts Nvidia and ATI at ten per cent and 15 per cent in Q1 2006, but while it expects Nvidia's share to rise again, to 12 per cent in Q2, ATI's share will have fallen to 13 per cent by then. SIS will take eight per cent of the market in Q2, GS reckons, down from 12 per cent in Q1.

Nvidia will be the only company to experience growth during Intel's revival, GS believes. VIA will fall from 15 per cent to 13 per cent of the market through Q1 2006 and Q2, while ULi will remain on a single percentage point share, pretty much where it's been throughout 2005, according to Mercury Research's numbers. VIA has likewise seen a broadly flat market share trend, starting and ending 2005 on 15 per cent.

Interestingly, despite Intel's share decline, chipset shipments have risen through the year, from 54m in Q2 to 73.7m in Q4, according to Mercury Research. Goldman Sachs believes shipments will rise slightly in Q1 2006, to 74.2m, before falling to 67.4m in Q2. ®

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