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AMD approaches '30%' x86 CPU market share, thanks to servers 'n' laptops

Guess you could call this Mercury Ryzen

Here's a new data point that will rile Intel up: AMD now accounts for nearly 30 percent of x86 CPU market share, and the chip designer got there during an industry downturn.

This is according to analysts at Mercury Research, which said on Wednesday that AMD's x86 market share reached 27.7 percent against Intel in the first quarter of 2022. This beat the 25.6 percent record AMD set in the previous quarter, which, notably, surpassed the 25.3 percent shipment milestone it achieved against Intel back in 2006.

AMD's x86 share in the first three months of 2022 grew 2.1 points from the previous quarter and seven points from the same period last year, reflecting the high level of growth the home of Ryzen has reported over several quarters.

This growth came from AMD's chips for servers and laptops. In servers, AMD's share grew 2.7 points year-over-year to 11.6 percent, its 12th consecutive quarter of share growth in the segment. For laptops, AMD's share leaped 4.4 points year-over-year to 22.5 percent.

The only segment where AMD didn't gain market share from Intel in the first quarter was the desktop PC space, which as a whole saw CPU shipments drop by 30 percent, the worst decline in history, according to Mercury.

AMD's desktop share was 18.3 percent, which is down 1 point from the same period last year, likely thanks to Intel's Alder Lake silicon that have received a fair amount of praise. It's interesting to note that Taiwanese CPU vendor Via is counted in this segment; Mercury said that company's shipments were so minimal, its share rounded down to zero.

The research firm said the historical decline in desktop processors was due to normal seasonality — not as many people buy a PC after the holidays — and excess inventory held by partners.

What's noteworthy is that AMD was able to grow in servers and laptops even though both segments also saw a decline in overall shipments. But this shouldn't come as a surprise given that AMD has doubled its data center business and reported double-digit revenue growth for client CPU parts over the past several quarters.

Despite this downturn, Mercury said the x86 market set several records, including for server CPU processor revenue and the average selling price for client CPUs. The latter was driven by a ramp of new high-end laptop processors from Intel and AMD. At the same time, Intel and AMD didn't ship as many low-end laptop chips.  

If you're curious how Arm has been doing in the CPU market for PCs, Mercury estimated that the chip architecture's share was 11.3 percent in the first quarter when included with desktop and laptop chips from Intel and AMD. This was up from 10.3 percent in the previous quarter, and it was nearly double the 5.9 percent share Arm held during the first quarter of last year, no doubt fueled by Apple's homegrown M1 chips.

That's another way of saying that Intel has multiple reasons to be concerned about its place in the industry, but at least the semiconductor giant is doing all it can to retain the technology leadership crown once again as part of its ambitious comeback plan. ®

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