Sales of graphics processors rose by 4% in the first quarter of this year, Jon Peddie Research says in its latest report. Sales normally stay flat or drop in the first quarter because of lower seasonal demand, so the research firm stresses that last quarter's growth was highly unusual. In fact, it says Q1 2008 "saw the biggest jump quarter-to-quarter in six years."
Looking at JPR's detailed shipment numbers, Nvidia and Intel look to have reaped the most reward from this unexpected growth. Compared to Q1 2007, Intel saw a 63.9% rise in shipments and a jump in market share (as measured in unit volumes, not sales dollars) from 38.7% to 48%, while Nvidia saw its shipments grow by 37.8% and its market share increase from 28.5% to 29.7%. AMD was a little left out, with sales increasing only 2.3% year-over-year and its market share actually dropping from 21.9% to 16.9%. AMD didn't do anywhere as badly as Matrox, SiS, and VIA, however, which all saw double-digit negative growth and saw their combined market share halved.
The picture may not be quite as rosy next quarter. According to JPR, sales may drop "significantly" in the second quarter because of "complex economic pressures building in the US."
Update: Jon Peddie Research has just sent us a "corrected" version of its report, which now says GPU shipments actually went down 5.56% between Q4 '07 and Q1 '08. Rather than being the greatest quarterly growth since Q1 2002, the new figure is in fact the worst since 2005. JPR also flubbed market share and shipment growth numbers. The research firm now says Nvidia had a 32.7% share of unit shipments last quarter, compared to 42.7% for Intel and 18.6% for AMD. The three companies saw year-over-year growth of 37.8%, 32.6%, and 2.3%, respectively.