AMD, meanwhile, saw its market share sink by 0.8 percent, from 16.6 percent to 15.8 percent.
Although down sequentially, AMD did manage to recover lost ground from the third quarter last year, when it was struggling with inventory surpluses. Then, Intel had 85.9 percent market share, while AMD had a 12.4 percent share. Mercury analyst Dean McCarron explained, though, that chip industry executives generally concentrate on the sequential, rather than the year-to-year, comparisons.
"AMD is down a little from Q2 but up from a year ago," he said.
Intel's market share boost was helped in part by shipments of notebook chips. Notebook processors accounted for 19 percent of the x86 processors that shipped in the third quarter, an all-time high. Notebook chips accounted for 18 percent of the market in the second quarter.
In its third-quarter conference call, Intel said it shipped a record number of processors.
The figures track the shipment of x86 processors--such as the Pentium 4, Xeon, Athlon and Opteron chips--that are used in PCs, notebooks and servers. The two companies account for the overwhelming number of x86 chips.
The figures do not include IBM chips that are used in Apple Computer's machines or the Intel processors Microsoft puts inside the Xbox gaming console. With Xbox factored in, Intel obtained an 83.4 percent market share, up from 82.5 percent in the second quarter, while AMD pulled in 15 percent of the market, down from 15.7 percent in the second quarter.
Intel is the exclusive provider of processors for the Xbox for now, having beaten out rival AMD in a hotly contested contract bid in 2001. Microsoft plans to use IBM processor technology in future versions of the console, McCarron noted. Although the details of the IBM-Microsoft alliance are somewhat vague, analysts believe that Microsoft will use an IBM chip in Xbox 2.