Who Has the Largest CPU Market Share? Facts & Stats
Updated · Mar 06, 2023
Let’s face it, the full complexity of a computer is beyond our grapes for most of us, but we can make analogies to understand it better.
The little wires and programs aren’t that different from the human body’s nervous system and the signals it sends. The central processing unit (CPU) is just like the brain—it gives all the instructions the computer needs to process information.
And while modern society has not yet figured out ways to commercially produce human brains, the CPU market has been improving “computer brains” since 1968.
Which companies, exactly?
We’ll tell you all about those competing for a share of the CPU market.
The Latest CPU Market Share Stats in 2022 (Editor’s Choice)
- AMD took all 10 spots on Amazon’s list of best-selling CPUs in 2020.
- For the first time in 15 years, AMD took 39% of the CPU market in 2021.
- In 2021, Intel’s annual revenue hit $74.7 billion.
- More than 470 million x86 CPUs were shipped in 2021, accounting for 94% of the industry’s shipments worldwide.
- 97.5% of the server CPU market went to Intel at the beginning of 2022.
- Intel is investing $20 billion in new chip factories in Ohio.
- In February 2022, AMD’s market cap was $6 billion higher than Intel’s.
AMD's Market Share and Some Other Cool Facts
Based in Santa Clara, the Californian company Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) was set to succeed from the very beginning.
Although it’s mostly popular for top-notch CPU production, AMD makes other hardware, such as flash memories, motherboard sets, and graphic processors. The debate might be hot, but it’s hard to argue that AMD products are not top class.
Let’s go over what you should know about this CPU company.
1. 10 out of 10 of the best-selling CPUs on Amazon were AMD’s in early 2020.
Occasionally, Amazon releases a list of its best-selling items in different categories. Although Intel usually takes most of the slots in the CPU sales category, 2020 was AMD’s time to turn it around.
Just a month after AMD claimed 80% of the most popular CPUs on Amazon, it managed to get all 10 spots for itself. The first place went to the second-generation AMD Ryzen 5 2600, which offers a great gaming capacity and high functionality.
2. AMD boasts the best CPU for gaming.
Although selecting the “best CPU ever” might come down to personal choice, most people would agree that when it comes to CPUs, good performance is what matters.
The Ryzen 7 5800X3D has a boosted cache (ergo, it has great memory speed) and boasts 150.4 fps. It works great with games like Far Cry 6 and Fortnite—though, admittedly, it’s may struggle a bit with graphically demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077.
Why is it the best, then?
Well, it’s 1.7% faster and $150 cheaper than its competitor (the Core i9-12900K). With such tremendous value for money, it’s no wonder the company is seeing its CPU market share rise in 2022.
3. AMD hit a new record in 2021, boasting $16.4 billion in revenue.
AMD has never been shy about its financial performance—and now the company should be as loud as ever. Up 68% from 2020, AMD generated $16.4 billion in 2021, which is the highest yearly revenue in the company’s history.
On a quarterly basis, things are also looking up. AMD recorded $3.244 billion in Q4 2020, and then went on to experience a 49% increase YoY, increasing its numbers to $4.826 billion in the last three months of 2021.
4. In Q2 2022, AMD’s CPU market share was 35.2%.
(Source: PassMark Software)
AMD experienced a boost throughout the pandemic, going from 23% in mid-2019 all the way to 39.7% in Q3 2021. Although the company demonstrated a slight decrease (-10% YoY) in 2022, the trend is generally upward.
As for server CPUs, COVID-19 got AMD an 8.4% market share in 2021. As of 2022, though, things seem to have gone back to normal—that is, the company went back to the 2%-3% share it has had since 2015 (pandemic hiccup notwithstanding).
What Is Intel’s Market Share?
While AMD had a pretty strong year in terms of revenue, Intel seems to be winning the CPU battle.
Let’s get into some figures and see why Intel is the main competitor in the industry.
5. Most Intel CPUs are made in the US.
(Source: Movie Cultists)
There’s a big chance that you’re using a computer with an incorporated Intel chip in it—and there’s an even bigger chance that Intel manufactured that chip in the United States.
Although the company bloomed in Mountain View, California (the heart of Silicon Valley), the production, testing, and design of microprocessors currently take place all over the country.
Intel manufactures about 75% of all its CPUs in the United States, primarily in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Massachusetts.
Other countries, such as China, Ireland, and Israel, account for the remaining 25% of the company’s CPU production.
6. Intel’s server CPU market share reached 97% in 2022.
(Source: PassMark Software)
If you paid attention to how low AMD’s hold over the server market is, and you did the math correctly, you’re probably not the least bit surprised with this stat.
Intel has always been number one where server CPUs are concerned, giving AMD almost no opportunity to take over the market. Even when Intel’s participation was at its lowest (in the third quarter of 2021), the company still accounted for 91.5% of the market.
Fun fact: Intel established an all-time-high server CPU record in the last three months of 2016—nearly 99% of the market was theirs at the time.
7. Intel made $74.7 billion in revenue in 2021.
(Source: PC Gamer)
The company earned $19.5 billion in the last quarter of 2021, finishing the year with a flourish.
Admittedly, the net income was down 21% quarter-over-quarter, but it’s not actually as bad as it sounds.
Intel invested in newer technologies, designs, and manufacturing in 2021, which explains why earnings were slightly lower than usual. Reported shortages of substrates, components, and foundry silicon may have had something to do with it, too.
We’ll just have to wait for Intel’s 2022 financial results to see if all the investments pay off.
8. As of Q1 2022, 73.7% of all x86 laptop CPUs are made by Intel.
One of the ways we can estimate Intel’s participation in the market is to figure out how many of the computers in use have an Intel CPU.
Intel makes up approximately 73.7% of the CPUs in all laptops. That’s a pretty good share, of course, but it’s the lowest figure the company’s had in the last decade. In fact, Intel’s CPU market share was steadily around 90% for eight years, up until mid-2020.
Why is the number decreasing?
Nowadays, it seems like COVID is to blame for everything that goes wrong—and, in this case, it’s sort of true.
On the one hand, working from home boosted demand for computers, which would typically mean good things for Intel’s revenue—except that, on the other hand, the pandemic also caused supply shortages and production delays.
An Ever-Lasting Competition: AMD vs Intel Market Shares
A Silicon Valley tale as old as time…
(Okay, it’s only been going on for half a century, but you get the point.)
AMD and Intel are the top players—in fact, they’re pretty much the only players—in the processor industry and have been ever since their founding back in the late 60s.
Don’t get us wrong, many have tried to break into the market, yet hardly anyone has succeeded. And the few that did were out of competition soon enough, as the two giants refuse to surrender even an inch of their CPU market share.
9. In 2021, over 500 million CPUs were shipped around the globe.
(Source: Tom’s Hardware)
The increasing research and development of technology, along with the demand for smart devices in developing countries, are the biggest drivers of market growth.
Globally, the x86 CPU market size reached approximately $74 billion. That’s a 10.7% increase compared to 2020 when the market made $66.6 billion in revenue. Furthermore, the x86 CPUs accounted for more than 94% of the 500+ million shipments in 2021.
Fun fact: Forecasts suggest that the microprocessor market will continue to increase at a 4.36% CAGR. If the estimates are correct, it should reach $113 billion by 2030.
10. In February 2022, AMD surpassed Intel's market cap.
2021 got crazy. And now we’re reaping the rewards—or AMD is.
Now, AMD vs Intel stock values change all the time, but the trend seemed to finally favor AMD in early 2022. The company market cap hit an all-time-high ($197 billion) on February 25, 2022, but a week prior to that, Intel’s market cap had fallen to $182 billion, giving AMD the chance to one-up its competitor for the first time.
Since then, Intel’s share price has been going downwards, from $51 to $36 in August 2022. AMD’s share price, on the other hand, is over $95.
11. AMD acquired Xilinx in 2022.
AMD shared big news in 2022.
First, after two years since the official announcement, the company finally completed the Xilinx acquisition (aka, the largest acquisition in the company’s history). AMD seized the company hoping to take a bite of the cloud and intelligent devices market.
The company also announced its plans to expand its operations in Malaysia. The new 1.5 million square feet facility will focus on advanced integrated circuit technology. Projections suggest it’ll be ready to operate in 2023.
12. Intel is looking towards a $20 billion expansion.
(Source: Wall Street Journal)
AMD this, AMD that… Well, there was interesting Intel news for 2022, too.
The company seems to be ready to capitalize on its investments, pledging over $100 billion to various ventures.
For instance, Intel is pouring $20 billion into two new facilities on the outskirts of Ohio. It’s the company’s response to the supply shortages during the pandemic, which (as you can imagine) limited the potential revenue generation. Intel’s eight new chip factories will struggle with that anymore.
Intel has other investments planned within the country (namely in Arizona and New Mexico) and overseas, too—it pledged $95 billion to a manufacturing project in Europe.
Although Intel continues to boast a larger CPU market share, AMD is slowly but surely climbing its way up.
Both companies have great chip designs (and massive revenues to prove it) and continue to one-up each other with each new microprocessor that comes out in the market.
In light of the recent investments they made, the two giants will likely remain up in the headlines for a while. Now that component shortages are (hopefully) a thing of the past, we at Web Tribunal can’t wait to see who comes out on top in the CPU market share battle of 2022.
Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.