Desktop CPU Sales Lowest in 30 Years, AMD Gains Market Share Anyway

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Desktop CPU Sales Lowest in 30 Years, AMD Gains Market Share Anyway

The Mercury Research CPU market share results are in for the second quarter of 2022, and the news isn’t great — desktop CPU shipments dropped to their lowest level in nearly three decades. Dean McCarron from Mercury Research says the year-over-year decline is the largest in the firm’s records, which stretches back 28 years, and predicts it was the biggest since 1984 (36 years). The decline came as OEMs reduced their inventory, drastically reducing demand in the quarter. Somehow AMD managed to carve out gains in both unit share and revenue during the quarter, though. 

According to the recent earnings report from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia, the recovery will be a long one. Intel issued a dire earnings report last week — the company lost money for the first time in decades, partially driven by PC declines. Intel also announced it was delaying its critical Xeon Sapphire Rapids data center chips and killing off another failing business unit, Optane; the sixth unit retired since new CEO Pat Gelsinger took over. 

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In contrast, AMD’s revenue was up 70% year-over-year as the company continued to improve its already-great profitability. AMD is firing on all cylinders and will launch its Ryzen 7000 CPUs, RDNA 3 GPUs, and EPYC Genoa data center processors on schedule.

That consistent execution continues to pay off. AMD took big strides in the mobile/laptop market again, setting another record for unit share in that segment with 24.8%. AMD also gained in the server market for the 13th consecutive quarter, reaching 13.9% of the market. Notably, AMD’s quarterly gain in servers is the largest we’ve seen in our historical data, which dates back to 2017, and it set a record for server revenue share. AMD also set a new record of 31.4% of the total market share for x86 processors.

It’s safe to say that all signs point to a continued PC slump — Intel and AMD expect the desktop and notebook PC market to be down double-digits through the end of the year. Nvidia also announced that it had drastically underperformed its guide by $1.4 billion due to slumping gaming GPU sales, and its partners expect up to a 50% decline in GPU shipments this year. It’s hard to gauge how much of that volume was actually destined for gaming PCs as opposed to cryptominers, so the tea leaves are murky.

Arm CPU market share reached 9.4%, a decline from 11.3% last quarter. McCarron says that much of this was due to Apple’s sales of its M1 Macs being down last quarter, dragging down the overall share of Arm chips. However, Arm may have grown within the Chromebook segment. 

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