SAN FRANCISCO – Intel Corp. captured more than 80 percent of the computer chip market in the first quarter while rival AMD lost the headway it had made in all of 2006 and then some, industry data showed on Tuesday.
Intel’s share of the $30 billion market for x86 processors that power most personal computers was 80.5 percent in the first quarter, according to Mercury Research, a market tracking firm whose data are closely watched by the industry.
That represented a gain of more than 6 percentage points from the 74.4 percent Intel had in the fourth quarter.
Intel’s gain came at the expense of Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which saw its share fall to less than 20 percent for the first time since 2005, Mercury said.
AMD had gained share steadily since 2005, rising from 21.4 percent in the fourth quarter of that year to 25.3 percent a year later, thanks to chips that ran faster and used less energy than Intel’s.
But Intel revamped its entire product line last year and slashed prices on older, unsold chips, thus putting pressure on AMD at both the high and low ends of the market.
Analysts have suspected that Intel regained market share in the first quarter, when the company reported a net profit of $1.6 billion while AMD lost more than $600 million.
“Intel’s superior products and aggressive pricing took their toll on AMD. We expect AMD to lose additional share during (the second quarter),” JP Morgan analysts wrote in a note to clients.
JP Morgan also cited Mercury data as showing that Intel gained 8 percentage points of share in the desktop segment, about 4 points of share in notebooks, and 7 points in the market for server computers.
Intel’s shares rose 0.3 percent to $21.97 in late afternoon trading while those of AMD gained 4 percent to $14.60.