3D graphics technology has grown by leaps and bounds since 3DFX first laid its Voodoo on the computing world, and today's videocards boast everything from multiple GPUs in a single package to the promise of physics processing . And not just for gaming, fanatical Folders can crunch through more proteins by utilizing their GPU, or decode a high definition movie on their new big screen TV.
Leading the charge into this new era of 3D computing are Nvidia and ATI, two companies who have recently started going at each others' throats with aggressive price cuts and a deluge of new videocards while simultaneously chasing the performance crown. But for all their battles, both old and new, it's Intel, CPU maker extraordinaire, who continues to lead the market.
Not only is Intel out in front of the competition, but the chip maker has managed to widen the gap over one year ago. According to graphics and multimedia consulting firm Jon Peddie Research, Intel has increased its market share by 10 percent since 2007 and now accounts for 47.3 percent of all desktop and notebook graphics. In second place is Nvidia, who in 2007 trailed Intel by just 5 percent, a gap which has increased threefold by dropping from 32.5 percent last year to 31.4 percent in Q2'08. AMD sits at a distant third, who went from 19.5 percent to 18.1 percent in that same time period.
Much of the discrepancy can be attributed to the notebook market, an area where Intel continues to not only lead but dominate. Intel graphics chips account for a whopping 57.1 percent of all notebooks, with Nvidia and AMD remain barely visible in the rearview mirror at 23.6 and 17.9 percent respectively.
Looking over the numbers, it would appear that Nvidia and AMD need to put a greater focus on the mobile market if either one has any hopes of catching up to Intel. But in order to do that, they can ill-afford to make mistakes, such as the $150 to $200 million one Nvidia recently made when it was discovered a batch of noteboooks using the company's GPUs were suffering an "abnormal failure rate." Nor can AMD afford to keep hemorrhaging cash into its ATI acquisition, a reality that has caused new CEO Dirk Meyer to pull in the reigns and refocus the company's business strategy.
Will either company step up to challenge Intel's market dominance in 2009?
Image Credit: Intel