IGPs will die-out by 2013, say researchers

Written by Ben Hardwidge

March 7, 2009 // 9:28 a.m.

Tags: #2011-1 #2012 #2013 #amd #clarkdale #die #extinct #fusion #graphics #igp #integrated #intel #jon #jpr #out #peddie #processors #research

Intel claims that its motherboard chipsets with integrated graphics currently command 50 percent of the PC graphics market, but researchers at Jon Peddie Research (JPR) reckon that the days of the integrated graphics processor could be seriously numbered, and predicts that their market share will dwindle to practically nothing by 2013.

The reason, as you would imagine, is that both Intel and AMD plan to introduce CPUs with integrated graphics, resulting in little need to have chipsets with integrated graphics, but JPR predicts that the changeover is likely to occur very quickly. The research firm says that 67 percent of graphics chips shipped in 2008 were IGPs (integrated graphics processors), but expects this to drop to 20 percent in 2011 and to less than one percent in 2013.

JPR also made it clear that it thinks that the introduction of CPUs with embedded graphics processors “will not, as many believe, impact the discrete graphics and add-in board market. In fact, with hybrid configuration, embedded graphics will enhance discrete GPU sales.”

While this research is stating the obvious to a degree when it comes to Intel and AMD’s mainstream CPUs, it’s interesting that JPR doesn’t feel that other companies’ IGPs, such as Nvidia’s Ion platform, will survive the next few years. Plus, where does this leave CPUs such VIA’s Nano, which currently doesn’t have an integrated graphics core?

According to Jon Peddie Research, “VIA and its S3 graphics subsidiary is playing its cards close to the chest but they are currently attempting to challenge Intel on price in key strategic markets such as netbooks.” To us, this implies that the company believes that VIA also has a Nano CPU with integrated graphics in the pipeline. This would enable VIA to compete with Intel’s Pineview-core Atom CPU, which is also rumoured to feature integrated graphics.

The research firm says that “market shares will shift as suppliers of IGPs like AMD, Intel, Nvidia, SiS, and VIA find the opportunities for chipsets diminishing.” To combat this, JPR says that “they will seek to develop new products that take advantage of their specific strengths.”

Intel first demonstrated its Clarkdale CPU package with integrated graphics in February, which Intel said provided an improved equivalent of the integrated graphics found in Intel’s current G45 chipset. The CPU features a 32nm CPU core, along with a 45nm memory controller and graphics chip. Meanwhile, AMD also has plans for a CPU with integrated graphics codenamed Fusion in the works.

Has the chipset IGP had its day? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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