Sales of graphics processing units (GPUs) are showing very strong growth, according to new figures from analyst firm Jon Peddie Research.
GPU sales for the third quarter are up 21.2 per cent, the chief winners being AMD, with over 30 per cent growth, and Via Technologies, which saw sales rise by over 100 per cent, albeit from a very low base.
"A total of 119.45 million units were shipped in the third quarter, exceeding the record 111 million units in the third quarter of 2008," said Dr Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research.
"So the market has caught up with, and exceeded, last year's highs. The crash of Autumn 2008 is now behind us."
The figures will make troubling reading for Nvidia, however. The company is still the number one in the GPU field, with almost a quarter of the market, but its share dropped four per cent from the previous quarter.
The situation is made worse by aggressive moves into the GPU sphere by AMD, which claims that it now has a six-month lead in the market as it is the only company with full support for Microsoft's DirectX 11.
Overall, Dr Peddie said that the growth in GPU sales is largely being driven by the laptop sector.
"Integrated graphics in notebooks, which includes the popular netbooks, increased 27 per cent over the second quarter," he said.
"Netbooks will remain popular, but they will not have the high market share they had during the recession when they were just introduced. Rather, consumers are expected to 'buy up' in the next quarter."
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