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Graphics biz feels first real pain since 2000

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Q4 2008 was a poor period for manufacturers of graphics chips: all of the key players experiencing sales slumps whether measured on a quarter-by-quarter or a year-on-year basis.

According to market watcher Jon Peddie Research (JPR), it's the first time the graphics market has shrunk between Q3 and Q4 since 2000.

"Put simply, the market stalled in the fourth quarter," Peddie himself said. "We're... bracing for the worst Q1 and Q2 decline since the internet bubble burst of 2000."

That said, JPR did forecast a "strong Q3 and Q4 for 2009".

The only 'winner' in Q4 2008 was Nvidia, which although experiencing a sales slip like its rivals, at least managed to do so to a slightly lesser degree and thus up its market share, to 30.7 per cent , up from 27.8 per cent in Q3 2008 though down from Q4 2007's 33.6 per cent.

In the notebook market, Nvidia's share rose sequentially from 21.8 per cent to 22.9 per cent. Intel's share was up to - from 56.2 per cent to 59.2 per cent - while AMD's dropped, falling to 17.1 per cent from 20.9 per cent.

Notebook GPUs shipments were down 29 per cent overall on a sequential basis, while shipments of desktop parts fell 39.5 per cent. Some 37.5m desktop GPUs and 34.9m mobile parts were shipped last quarter.

Nvidia held 37.9 per cent of the desktop arena in Q4 2008, fractionally more than it did in Q3. AMD's share went up further, from 20.3 per cent to 21.4 per cent.

Overall, AMD's Q4 2008 share came to 19.3 per cent, Intel's at 47.8 per cent. Below AMD, SiS had 1.1 per cent of the market, other suppliers like VIA and Matrox even less than that. ®

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