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Mobile drives graphics chip market in Q4

Nvidia and AMD both win share

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AMD grew its graphics market share in Q4 2006, despite a market that was largely static as a boom in mobile GPUs was effectively balanced by a slide in desktop products, figures from market watcher Jon Peddie Research (JPR) reveal.

AMD ended up with 23 per cent of the market, up from 20.9 per cent in Q3. Intel's share went up to: by a mere third of a percentage point to 37.4 per cent. Third-placed Nvidia was down by an identical figure to 28.5 per cent. Both companies can be considered to have stayed pretty much where they were. Not so VIA, which saw its share fall two points, from 8.7 per cent in Q3 to 6.7 per cent. SiS remained on 4.5 per cent, will all other vendors together barely troubling the scorer.

Drill down and the picture becomes more interesting. The mobile segment grew 13.8 per cent sequentially, with 25.8m mobile GPUs shipping in Q4. Integrated parts accounted for 76.3 per cent of that total. Intel and AMD both saw their share decline between successive quarters, but Nvidia once again grew its share, reaching 22.9 per cent of the market. That puts it barely behind AMD, on 23.4 per cent. Intel rules the roost with a 49.8 per cent share, according to JPR.

Nvidia owned the discrete mobile segment, taking a 59.1 per cent share in Q4, up from 53 per cent in Q3. Intel doesn't play here, of course, but AMD does, dropping from 47 per cent to 40.9 per cent.

Windows Vista is unlikely to tilt the mobile market in favour of discrete parts over integrated, but it will push the former segment, which is likely to benefit Nvidia further over the current and coming quarters. At least until AMD gets its anticipated ATI Mobility Radeon X2300 out the door.

On the desktop, shipments were down four per cent sequentially and 4.2 per cent year on year. Some 57.6m desktop GPUs shipped in Q4, 31.8 per cent of them with Intel's name on the packaging, 22.8 per cent with AMD's ATI moniker and 31 per cent sporting Nvidia branding. Nvidia's discrete market share was down slightly, while AMD's rose, to 53.8 per cent and 46.2 per cent, respectively.

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