You can't hardly buy a processor any more without also purchasing a graphics chip. That's because many of today's CPUs sport integrated graphics, a relatively new development as both AMD and Intel push their respective CPU+GPU solutions onto the masses. But despite each company's efforts, along with a constant flow of discrete GPU solutions from AMD and Nvidia, graphics shipments are down overall.
According to data from Jon Peddie Research, combined graphics shipments declined 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012 when compared to the previous quarter, and slipped 3.38 percent from one year ago. No need to hit the panic button, JPR says.
"Although this did not shape up to be a great quarter for the suppliers, it actually wasn't as bad as it could have been. We found that shipments during the first quarter of 2012 behaved according to past years with regard to seasonality, declining from the previous quarter; however, this quarter's decline (of 0.8 percent) was less than the ten-year average of 3.1 percent," JPR points out. "If we use graphics as an indicator, the industry seems to be recovering from the floods in Thailand."
AMD actually grew its graphics shipments in Q1, by 0.3 percent, while Intel slipped 1.3 percent and Nvidia tumbled by 4.5 percent sequentially. How did AMD do it? According to JPR, "AMD had a gigantic increase of its desktop APUs of 84 percent," which more than made up for a "modest 2.6 percent decline in notebook APUs."
JPR's findings include both discrete and integrate graphics for desktops, notebooks, netbooks, and industrial systems. Handhelds, x86 servers ,and ARM-based tablets, smartbooks, and servers are excluded.