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PC Microprocessor Shipments are Recovering

Worldwide PC microprocessor shipments in the third quarter of 2009 increased substantially and to all-time record levels for a single quarter, according to the latest market study by IDC.

The data indicates that PC processor unit shipments in 3Q09 rose 23 percent compared to 2Q09 -- growth that is approximately double the normal growth in unit shipments for the same period. In terms of revenue, the PC processor market grew more than 14 percent quarter over quarter to $7.4 billion.

Looking at market performance by PC form factor, mobile PC processors continue to drive growth.

Mobile PC processors, which include Intel's Atom processors designed for netbook PCs, increased 35.7 percent in 3Q09 compared to 2Q09. Desktop PC processors grew 11.4 percent quarter over quarter and x86 server processors grew 12.2 percent quarter over quarter.

"The story about 3Q09 leads with Atom processors being sold in netbooks manufactured and sold in China," said Shane Rau, director at IDC. "While Atom processors led the PC processor market to reach record unit shipments, on the revenue side, their low average selling price led to notable price erosion, more than 7 percent."

As a result, while market shipments rose 23.0 percent compared to 2Q09, market revenue grew less, 14.1 percent compared to 2Q09. Most meaningful about 3Q09 is that, since PC processor shipments overall just slightly exceeded shipments in 3Q08, IDC believes that the processor market is recovering.

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