Intel, AMD gather steam as chip price war cools

Intel short-term winner in first quarter microprocessor market, while around half of AMD's long-term growth came at Intel's expense

Intel and Advanced Micro Devices both gained momentum in the first quarter of this year as the longtime price war between rival chipmakers slowed.

Research firm iSuppli this week reported that average selling prices for both AMD and Intel wares held steady between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2008. "This price stability is another indication that price pressure has decreased and the pricing war between the two microprocessor suppliers has abated," reported iSuppli.

The research firm also noted that both companies showed some slips in Q1 but registered enough gains to put them on the plus side of growth charts.

"Intel was the short-term winner in the first quarter microprocessor market," said Matthew Wilkins, a principal analyst with iSuppli, in a statement. "AMD's PC microprocessor product portfolio has become much stronger during the last year, particularly on the desktop side. Customers clearly are responding to AMD's moves. At the beginning of the year we saw AMD add the quad-core Phenom microprocessors to its desktop portfolio, which it has since built on with tri-core and dual-core flavors, for the prosumer and business markets."

Wilkins also noted that about half of AMD's long-term growth came at Intel's expense. The remainder came out of smaller suppliers' market-share.

According to iSuppli, Intel accounted for 79.7 percent of global microprocessor revenue in the first quarter of this year. That's up 1.2 percent from the fourth quarter of last year. However, compared to the first quarter of last year, Intel's revenue market share actually is down by 0.7 percent.

On the other side of the rivalry, AMD's first-quarter global revenue market share of 13 percent was down from the fourth quarter in 2007 when it came in at 14.1 percent, iSuppli reported. But AMD did increase its year-over-year revenue market share in the first quarter by 2.2 percent.

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Sharon Gaudin

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