Issue: Volume 33 Issue 11: (December 2010)

Spotlight


PC Graphics Market Slumps
Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry’s research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced its estimated graphics chip shipments and suppliers’ market share for the third quarter, and the results are mixed, with the market slumping, Intel soaring, and Nvidia making a comeback.

Overall graphics chip shipments were an unseasonably 1 percent down from the second quarter due to the 8.4 percent drop in notebook sales despite an 8.4 percent growth in desktop sales, reflecting the increasing impact of the notebook market. The possible cause for the decline in notebook sales could be the iPad, and the related shift from netbooks.

Embedded graphics processors, or EPGs, from Intel (Clarksdale and Pine­view) showed strong growth, up 50 percent from the second quarter, while the total IGP shipments from all the vendors in the space slowed to a modest 1.4 percent growth quarter to quarter.

Overall, market shifts occurred for all vendors, even though the quarter-to-quarter total shipments were basically flat.

AMD attributed its slip in market share to weakened demand and OEMs letting their GPU inventory run down to avoid being stuck with leftover processors. Due to real and perceived shortages in supply, some customers shifted their purchases to rival Nvidia. And there may have been some de-emphasis on GPUs after a significant weakening of the euro, with laptop makers settling for cheaper, integrated graphics instead.AMD graphics revenue decreased 11 percent sequentially but increased 33 percent year over year.

Intel reported “revenue from client chipset and other” of $1.75 billion, up from $1.68 billion in Q2.

“No one knows how much cannibalization there is in tablets,” says Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini, “but the numbers are relatively small.” About eight million iPads shipped in the third quarter, which is 11 percent of an estimated 70 million notebooks and netbooks over the same period. Intel’s Atom processor revenues were down 4 percent in Q3, which some observers are attributing to cannibalization by tablets. In June, Intel announced it would make new chips for tablets, and previewed Oak Trail tablets, scheduled for release in 2011.

Nvidia’s fiscal quarter straddles the calendar quarters. Its next quarter ended October 31.

This edition of the Market Watch report includes breakout numbers for the shipments of the new category: EPGs. With the advent of new CPUs with integrated or embedded graphics, we will see the rapid decline in deliveries for traditional chipset graphics or IGPs. The EPG shipment numbers are included in the total integrated graphics number in this release.

The Q3 2010 edition of JPR’s “Market Watch” is available in both electronic and hard copy editions, and can be purchased for $995.

NewTek's LightWave 10 Makes Its Debut
Following a sneak peek at SIGGRAPH, NewTek is now ready to roll out LightWave 10, the latest version of its digital content creation software that, among other capabilities, enables interactive viewpoint rendering and real-time stereoscopic previewing, supporting the company’s billing at a “production-ready version of LightWave.”

Version 10—which leverages the technologies developed for LightWave CORE—contains a number of new features, and among the most impressive are those that are specifically tuned to stereo 3D work, whether done by individual users or artists working within a studio pipeline.

With the new Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR) and Anaglyph Stereoscopic Preview’s real-time interocular, red-blue anaglyphic separation, users can now view updates to their stereo work in real time, and see changes to lights, textures, volumetrics and more as they happen. Support for the InterSense Virtual Camera Tracking System (VCAM) and 3Dconnexion 3D mouse facilitates user interaction with models and scenes. Also, the version purports the first complete linear colorspace workflow, supporting custom LUTs for more realistic lighting.

New data interchange tools—including support for MDD, Autodesk Geometry Cache, FBX, and COLLADA—make it easier to move data from one application to another, while an updated user interface lets artists work more intuitively.

For a limited time, LightWave 10 will be priced at $895, with an upgrade price from Version 9 of $495.
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