A recent study from Jon Peddie Research indicates that the popular integrated graphics processor chipset, known as the IGP, is soon to come to an end. After 15 years of stellar growth, the IGP will cease to exist, as it is replaced by graphics embedded in the processor.
Data from the research firm shows that, in 2008, 67% of the graphics chips shipped were IGPs. In 2011, that will drop to 20%, and by 2013 it will be less than 1%. Integrated graphics are used in desktop and net-top PCs, notebooks and netbooks, and various embedded systems such as point of sale, set-top boxes, and signage systems.
The firm suggests that this will not impact the discrete graphics and add-in board market. In fact, with hybrid configuration, embedded graphics will enhance the discrete GPU sales.
For a period of time, between 2010 and 2012, there will be three choices for graphics available: traditional discrete GPUs mounted on add-in boards and/or the motherboard, integrated graphics processor (IGP) chipsets, and processors with embedded graphics. One or more of these devices will be employed in PCs. Inevitably, market shares will shift as suppliers of IGPs like AMD, Intel, Nvidia, SiS, and VIA find the opportunities for chipsets diminishing and they will seek to develop new products that take advantage of their specific strengths.
There is already significant maneuvering between Intel and Nvidia as Nvidia strengthens its high end offerings with CUDA development tools; and on the mobile side, the company has introduced the Tegra platform, which relies on an ARM processor and Nvidia graphics. AMD is going head to head with Intel with Fusion, an embedded graphics CPU, but it too is building out its workstation and visualization graphics. VIA and its S3 graphics subsidiary are playing their cards close to their chest, but they are currently attempting to challenge Intel on price in key strategic markets such as netbooks.
The first embedded graphics processor will be Intel's Westmere in Q4 2009; AMD will introduce its Fusion processor in Q2 2011. Both companies will employ 32nm process.