Industry analysts Mercury Research have released their year-end analysis of the x86 CPU market, and there’s some fantastic news for AMD. The company has broken its own previously set record for CPU market share, taking 25.6 percent of the market for the first time in 15 years. Though Intel clearly still holds the lion’s share of the market, AMD is still making inroads and some of its newfound success is attributed to the SoC chips it makes for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, where Intel isn’t exactly a competitor.
According to a summary of the Mercury Research report provided by Tom’s Hardware, AMD’s current market share just barely squeaks past its previous high of 25.3 percent, which it had way back in the heyday of 2006 with its Athlon chips. Ironically, via Google we found a similar report from Mercury Research in 2007 noting that right after AMD achieved its 25 percent market share, Intel began chipping away at it with its fabled Core 2 Duo CPUs, which marked a huge turnaround for Intel at the time. Despite AMD’s overall gains, it has continued to lose market share in both desktop and notebook to Intel, while returning the favor in the server market where its Epyc CPUs have been making major inroads into Intel’s turf for some time now. According to Mercury, AMD now controls 10.7% of the server market, and has taken market share from Intel for 11 quarters in a row now.
Mercury notes that AMD actually lost market share for desktop CPUs in 2021 due to the ongoing shortages caused by the pandemic. At the same time Intel shipped the most CPUs in the final quarter of 2021 with its Rocket Lake and Comet Lake chips, which are now being replaced in the channel with Alder Lake. Mercury states Intel holds 83.8 percent of the desktop CPU market, with AMD taking the remaining 16.2 percent. The pandemic has been very good for both AMD and Intel’s bank accounts; both companies have reported excellent financial results.
This new analysis comes on the heels of AMD reporting record revenue for 2021, which we noted last week. It also tracks with industry analysts’ expectations that in the first half of 2022, AMD will continue to lose market share to Intel in the notebook while AMD takes server market share from Intel. This is due to the fact that the notebook world is a long time Intel stronghold, and its Alder Lake chips are looking extremely competitive. Though AMD’s Ryzen 6000 mobile lineup is yet to launch, analysts believe it’s not likely to loosen Intel’s grasp on this rapidly growing market. Things are going to be interesting in the server market as well in the latter part of 2022, with Intel finally releasing its long-awaited Sapphire Rapids platform to take on AMD’s Genoa CPUs.