Graphics add-in board market rises in first quarter

AMD gains market share on Nvidia, despite a down quarter for PCs.

Graphics add-in board (AIB) shipments rose during 1Q13 on a sequential basis, according to new market data released today by Jon Peddie Research (JPR). Year over year AIB shipments were down 6.3%.

Total AIB shipments in the quarter were 14.8 million units, up from 4Q12 by 1.8%. Nvidia continues to hold a dominant market share position at 64%, but during 1Q13 AMD gained 1.4% in AIB market share. JPR says the AIB market was in-line with past years regarding seasonal fluctuations in sales. A little over 32 million desktop PCs shipped worldwide in the quarter, a decrease of 13.7%.

The change from quarter to quarter is slightly less than last year. Quarter-to-quarter percentage changes are shown in Table 1

AIB 1Q13 Table 1

The AIB market now has just four chip (GPU) suppliers, who also build and sell AIBs. The primary suppliers of GPUs are AMD and Nvidia. There are 52 AIB suppliers, the AIB OEM customers of the GPU suppliers, which they call, “partners.”

The change from quarter to quarter is much greater than last year. Quarter-to-quarter percentage changes are shown in Figure 1.

AIB 1Q13 Figure 1 growth rates quarter to quarter over time

In the past the first quarter had flat to no growth as OEMs ran down inventory from the fourth-quarter holiday season. The combination of online buying, faster manufacturing cycles, lower inventory levels, and a chaotic worldwide economic condition has thrown all those traditions out the window.

As part of its coverage of the computer graphics industry JPR tracks computer graphics boards, which carry discrete graphics chips. AIBs are used in desktop PCs, workstations, servers, and other devices such as scientific instruments. They may be sold directly to customers as after-market products, or they may be factory installed. In all cases, AIBs represent the higher end of the graphics industry as discrete chips rather than integrated processors.

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