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AMD grows Epyc datacenter share, loses to Intel generally

Both firms have been hit with plunges in PC chip sales, and there's no Ryzen shine

AMD has grown its share in the server processor market against Intel once again, though the chip designer lost out to its much larger rival in the broader x86 market.

The Epyc slinger's server CPU share grew 3.6 points to 17.5 percent against Intel in the third quarter from the previous three months, marking its 14th consecutive quarter of share growth in the category, according to the latest x86 market share report from Mercury Research. This share movement in shipments marked a 7.3-point increase from the same period last year.

The share growth corresponds with AMD's third-quarter earnings, which showed that Team Red's datacenter business grew 45 percent year-over-year to $1.6 billion. Intel's much larger Datacenter and AI Group, on the other hand, saw revenues dip 27 percent to $4.2 billion during the same period.

While server chips are a critical area for AMD's future growth and profitability, the company didn't fare well against Intel in the PC market, all while both corporations experiencing major plunges in PC chip sales.

AMD's desktop CPU share declined 6.6 points to 13.9 percent against Intel in the third quarter from the previous three months. As for laptop CPUs, the Ryzen designer experienced an even greater fallout, with share declining 9.1 points sequentially to 15.7 percent against Intel in the same period.

The net effect is that AMD's overall x86 market share fell 2.9 points quarter-over-quarter to 28.5 percent against Intel in the third quarter. However, AMD's third-quarter x86 CPU share was 3.9 points higher than it was the same period last year.

Dean McCarron, head of Mercury Research, said CPU market share movements in 2022 have been largely reflective of both companies experiencing sales slowdowns at different points and varying magnitudes. These downturns have been happening in response to system vendors trying to sell off existing inventories of chips before buying more from AMD and Intel.

However, he added, this dynamic mainly impacted the notebook processor market in the third quarter and not as much for CPUs going into servers and desktops:

[The server market] is the one place where inventory likely didn't change the share outcome, though we note the size of AMD's gains this quarter isn't consistent with historical trends and Intel likely had some inventory-related declines in their server results, which probably under-states Intel's share of the end market.

While server CPU shipments declined in the third quarter overall, it was the notebook market that took the biggest hit, "with every quarter thus far in 2022 posting worse than 30 percent on-year declines in shipments," according to McCarron.

Desktop processors, on the other hand, experienced a "strong recovery" in shipments. McCarron credited this quarterly upswing to seasonal demand as well as PC makers buying more chips from Intel ahead of anticipated price increases in the fourth quarter.

While Mercury doesn't officially track market share for Arm CPUs, the firm estimated that the share of Arm processors in PCs grew 9.4 points to 13.1 percent in the third quarter. McCarron said this was the result of Apple's growing sales of Macs with its homegrown M-series chips, lower x86 laptop CPU shipments, and a likely increase in Arm-powered Chromebooks. ®

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