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PC chip shipments flat, but sales up

Global shipments of PC microprocessors in the second quarter were about flat compared with a year ago, though sales rose more than 5 percent, says IDC.

Shipments of PC processors failed to gain ground during the second quarter, but revenue still inched its way higher, according to data out today from IDC.

For the quarter, worldwide chip shipments rose only 0.6 percent from a year ago and fell 2.9 percent from the first quarter. Sales reached $9.49 billion, a 5.4 percent rise from 2010's second quarter but a 4 percent drop from the first quarter.

"The first quarter of 2011 was better than most first quarters due to the extra calendar week," Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing for IDC, said in a statement. "So the sequential comparison isn't surprising. If we took off that extra week, the performance between the two quarters probably would've seen a seen a slight sequential uptick from 1Q to 2Q."

Intel scooped up 79.3 percent of the global market. AMD took home a 20.4 percent share, followed by Via Technologies, which accounted for only 0.3 percent.

Drilling down to the different PC form factors, Intel grabbed an 84.4 percent share in the mobile PC chip segment, leaving AMD with 15.2 percent and Via with 0.4 percent. Among desktop processors, Intel earned a 70.9 percent share, followed by AMD with 28.9 percent. And in the PC server and workstation segment, Intel captured 94.5 percent of the market, with AMD taking 5.5 percent.

During the quarter, both Intel and AMD continued to roll out their latest platforms. Intel's Sandy Bridge and AMD's Fusion chips both include integrated graphics processors (IGP). Microprocessors with IGPs grew to grab more than 60 percent of the total processor unit volume for the quarter, noted IDC.

Looking ahead, continued tough economic times in developed regions are likely to hamper consumer demand for PCs. As a result, IDC has lowered its 2011 forecast for PC (mobile, desktop, x86 server) processor unit shipments to 9.3 percent from 10.3 percent previously.