To quote the iconic 1960s drummer Buddy Miles, the graphics chip market is "going through them changes."
As Nvidia falters, Advanced Micro Devices' ATI graphics unit is on the rise, spurred by "radical" shifts in the market, according to Mercury Research, which tracks the market for GPUs or graphics processing units.
"AMD surpassed Nvidia this quarter in overall shipments...(and) is now the leading supplier of standalone GPU and of notebook standalone GPUs, and the second largest supplier of graphics solutions overall," the Mercury Research report says. Intel is the longstanding No. 1 supplier because it includes the graphics function in its chipsets, which accompany its processors, and more recently is building the function into the central processing unit or CPU.
There are, of course, good reasons why AMD knocked Nvidia out of the No. 2 spot. AMD is gaining in laptop share just as the total mobile graphics market surpasses the total desktop graphics market for the first time, according to Mercury. In particular, AMD's ATI Radeon HD 5000 series (used in both laptops and desktops) saw a "a huge burst" in shipments in the second quarter, Mercury said.
And the composition of the mobile GPU market is changing. "The mobile integrated graphics CPU market...has surpassed both the mobile standalone graphics market and the mobile integrated chip set market for the first time." Translation: the CPU now subsumes the function of the GPU, due to Intel's newest mobile silicon based on the Core i3 and i5 processors. These chips take the GPU function--which had been separate--and combine it with the CPU.
How does AMD fit into this change? Its graphics chips… Read more