The housing market is down the toilet, the stock market keeps tumbling, and unemployment rates are going up. It's all bad news. If you're looking for a little bright spot, however, I've got one for you.
According to a report out Monday from multimedia and graphics research and consulting firm Jon Peddie Research, the graphics processing unit, or GPU, market has been doing very well despite the economic turmoil.
JPR's numbers show that in the third quarter of this year, more than 111 million GPUs were shipped. During the same quarter last year, only 91 million GPUs shipped, and 94 million units shipped in the previous quarter. That's an annual increase of 22.5 percent and a quarter-to-quarter increase of almost 18 percent.
GPUs are generally used in industrial and medical systems, point-of-sale terminals, kiosks, digital signs, and especially PCs. Thanks to SLI and CrossFire technologies by Nvidia and AMD, more than a third of all PCs shipped today come with more than one GPU.
According to the report, this quarter, the three giant chipmakers are holding 97.8 percent of the market share, with Intel at 49.4 percent, Nvidia at 27.8 percent, and AMD at 20.6 percent. The other GPU makers, including Matrox, SiS, and Via/S3, share the rest of the market--a measly 2.2 percent.
Nonetheless, it's likely that the fourth quarter will not look the same as the last three, as AMD and Nvidia aren't expected to release any more new GPUs due to the large number of introductions they have done this year. In addition, AMD and Intel have stabilized their integrated GPU offerings.