Graphics and multimedia chip market watcher Jon Peddie Research (Tiburon, Calif.) estimates shipments of graphics chips dropped to 74.9 million in the first quarter of the year, down 21.1 percent from the corresponding quarter of 2008.
But there was a rebound in the first quarter, with Intel and Nvidia in particular benefitting.
Year on year numbers from the researchers indicate AMD was down 27.5 percent, Intel 8.2 percent lower, and Nvidia down 25 percent. The biggest surprise was the huge 78.6 percent fall at via/S3.
The company predicts an upturn in the PC market for the third and fourth quarter of the year, but as for the total graphics chip business, "things probably are not going to get back to the normal seasonality till Q3 this year, and we won't hit the levels of 2008 until 2010."
In its analysis, Jon Peddie Research says that in the second half of last year, the channel stopped ordering GPUs and depleted inventories in anticipation of a long period of global recession.
But because people kept buying systems, by Q109 stock was exhausted and manufacturers had to start buying again, ending an eight-year tradition of sales dropping between Q4 and Q1, with shipments actually increasing for the first time in years. And the big winners from this were Intel and Nvidia, the researchers said.
Figures indicate Q408 to Q109 volume shipments increased from 72.5 million units to 74.9 million. For the quarter, Intel had a 49.7 percent share of the business, Nvidia 31.1 percent and took a 17.1 percent share.
The researchers predict the cleaning out of old inventory in the electronics, automotive, and real-estate markets should be complete by the end of the summer, and that "some great deals will be available for those happy with 2008 technology."