2011 promises to be an unusually exciting year for the CPU industry. It will see the arrival of three brand-new architectures—Sandy Bridge on the Intel front, and Bulldozer and Bobcat on the AMD front—plus AMD's Llano accelerated processing units. Who's going to come out on top? According to DigiTimes, Taiwanese notebook and motherboard manufacturers are betting on AMD.
Those anonymous Taiwanese firms reportedly predict AMD's slice of the notebook market will grow from 11% in 2010 to about 15% in 2011, with its combined server and desktop market shares climbing roughly from 20% to 25%. That last figure "may advance further to 30% in 2012," too. DigiTime's sources believe AMD's "strong performance/cost ratio as well as low power consumption" will help it win greater market share, especially in the netbook market.
Now, I should draw your attention to the latter part of DigiTimes' story, which notes that motherboard makers are planning to increase the ratio of AMD motherboards to Intel motherboards shipped—a move "expected to help AMD win some global market share." Are motherboard makers actively backing AMD here, or are they simply anticipating greater demand and planning out their production accordingly? Perhaps a bit of both.
Either way, I'm taking this report with a grain of salt. While Intel's Sandy Bridge processors will debut on January 5, AMD doesn't plan to have Llano and Bulldozer-based CPUs out until later in the year. And Llano is probably no Sandy Bridge rival, since it's based on the same CPU architecture that drives AMD's current Phenom II processors. AMD could sell Llano on the merits of its powerful built-in graphics, but Sandy Bridge's integrated graphics don't sound too shabby, either.