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chip decline eases; AMD gains on Intel

The decline in PC chip shipments may be slowing but Netbook processor deliveries were off 33 percent, while Advanced Micro Devices gained on Intel, IDC said.

In the first calendar quarter of 2009, worldwide PC microprocessor shipments fell 10.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with a 17 percent decline from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, according to IDC.

AMD gained on Intel in the first quarter. Intel garnered a 77.3 percent unit market share, a loss of 4.7 percent, while AMD had a 22.3 percent share, a gain of 4.6 percent. AMD gained in the mobile and desktop PC markets, IDC said.

Overall, shipments were down, though the rate of decline may be slowing. "The PC processor market continued to reflect significant decline in end demand for most of 1Q09," said Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing research at IDC. "However, some inventory replenishment by (PC makers) at the end of the quarter helped to slow the decline and bring the quarter in at a level only slightly worse than typical seasonal decline."

IDC noted that demand from PC suppliers picked up towards the end of the quarter but the market researcher cautioned that the demand was due to PC manufacturers "replenishing their inventories rather than reflecting a return of solid end demand and return to market normalcy."

Unit shipments dropped 13 percent from the first quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009.

Intel's shipments of Atom processors for Netbooks plummeted 33 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the fourth quarter, indicating that Netbook suppliers held significant inventory of Atom processors coming into the new year, according to IDC.

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