CPU shipments

Desktop CPU Shipments Drop In Recession

CPU shipments

Mercury Research, which studies component sales, reports that x86 CPU shipments dropped dramatically in Q2.

Desktop CPU shipments declined by 15% year over year from May to June, according to Mercury Research.

Mercury Research President Dean McCarron stated he had to go back to the mid-1990s to see lower desktop CPU shipments than in Q2.

Desktop CPU shipments fell 30% quarter-on-quarter in Q1. “Over the past decade or more, desktop PCs have been replaced by laptops. This, combined with OEMs’ short-term inventory adjustment, has slowed CPU purchases, McCarron said. “The combined result of both of these is the historic low.”

Q2 laptop CPU shipments declined over 30% year over year. Total x86 CPU shipments in the quarter fell 19%, the greatest year-over-year fall in Mercury Research’s 28-year existence.

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“While data predates 1994, the on-year decline in CPU shipments is probably the largest since 1984,” McCarron added.

McCarron said PC companies are halting chip orders owing to the economic recession. Intel announced a $500 million loss in Q2 and blamed PC vendors’ inventory cuts. The drop in shipments comes a year after the COVID-19 epidemic led PC demand to skyrocket. Demand has fallen since then due to high inflation and recession fears.

The recession has affected Intel harder than AMD. Mercury Research said Team Red saw “positive unit growth” across all sectors, including laptops, desktops, and servers. AMD’s x86 CPU market share vs Intel rose to 31.4%, a record high.

In Q2, only IoT and semi-custom chips grew, including AMD’s Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 processors. Intel’s inventory corrections lowered shipments in the quarter, while AMD gained market share.

AMD’s projections for future PC demand are more modest. CEO Lisa Su warned last week that PC shipments will drop by the “mid-teens” by 2022, to roughly 300 million.

AMD and Intel plan to release new CPUs and graphics cards in the next months, which could boost demand despite the economy.


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