GPU shipments down sharply in Q4 2018 (but notebook GPU chip sales are up)

Posted on Monday, March 04 2019 @ 11:03 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Jon Peddie Research published its Q4 2018 report about the GPU market. The research firm notes shipments declined 3.3 percent year-over-year, but it's interesting to see there was a big difference between laptop and desktop sales. Shipments of desktop PC graphics solutions collapsed 20 percent year-over-year, while sales of notebook graphics chip increased 8 percent. Basically, the market is returning to a new normal after last year's cryptocurrency mining boom.

Keep in mind that this report focuses on all graphics solutions, including integrated graphics. JPR found that AMD's shipments declined 6.8 percent quarter-over-quarter, NVIDIA dropped 7.6 percent in the same timeframe and Intel was down 0.7 percent. The discrete graphics card figures from Jon Peddie will likely follow in a week or so.
Jon Peddie Research, the market research firm for the computer graphics industry, has released its quarterly Market Watch report on worldwide GPU shipments used in PCs for Q4'18.

Overall GPU shipments decreased -2.65% from last quarter, AMD shipments decreased -6.8% Nvidia decreased -7.6% and Intel's shipments, decreased -0.7%.

AMD's market share from last quarter decreased -0.6%, Intel's increased 1.4%, and Nvidia's market share decreased -0.82%.

Year-to-year total GPU shipments decreased -3.3%, desktop graphics decreased -20%, notebooks increased 8%.

Although overall GPU shipments declined PC sales saw an uptick of 1.61% which is a positive sign for the market overall.

“The channel’s demand for add-in boards (AIBs) in early 2018 was out of sync with what was happening in the market,” said Dr. Jon Peddie, president and founder of Jon Peddie Research. “As a result, the channel was burdened with too much inventory. That has impacted sales of discrete GPUs in Q4, and will likely be evident in Q1, and Q2’19 as well.”

The fourth quarter is typically flat to up from the previous quarter in the seasonal cycles of the past. For Q4'18 it decreased -2.7% from last quarter and was below the ten-year average of an 11.59% increase.?

Quick highlights
  • AMD’s overall unit shipments decreased -6.81% quarter-to-quarter, Intel’s total shipments decreased -0.67% from last quarter, and Nvidia’s decreased -7.62%.
  • The attach rate of GPUs (including integrated and discrete GPUs) to PCs for the quarter was 135% which was down -5.92% from last quarter.
  • Discrete GPUs were in 27.78% of PCs, which is down -3.83% from last quarter.
  • The overall PC market increased by 1.61% quarter-to-quarter and decreased -3.79% year-to-year.
  • Desktop graphics add-in boards (AIBs) that use discrete GPUs decreased -10.75% from last quarter.
  • Q4'18 saw a no change in tablet shipments from last quarter.

    GPUs are traditionally a leading indicator of the market since a GPU goes into every system before it is shipped most of the PC vendors are guiding cautiously for next quarter. For those who wish to understand the PC market, an understanding of the highly complex technology and ecosystem that has been built around the GPU is essential to understanding the market’s future directions.

  • About the Author

    Thomas De Maesschalck

    Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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