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What’s behind AMD’s Record Sales Growth for Add-in-Board Cards?

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AIB sales report off-season growth for the first time in eight years

The increasing GPU (graphics processing unit) demand from cryptocurrency miners has brought a change in the general GPU market trend. The sales of PC (personal computer) AIB (add-in-board) cards increased in the seasonally weak 2Q for the first time in eight years. The last time AIB sales rose in 2Q was in 2009 when sales rose 2% sequentially.

According to data from JPR (Jon Peddie Research), AIB card sales rose 30.9% sequentially to over $3.6 billion in 2Q17. This record sequential growth came after sales fell 30% sequentially in 1Q17, which shows that demand from cryptocurrency miners pushed AIB card sales to the holiday season level in 2Q17.

On a unit basis, sales rose 520,000 in 2Q17. Calendar 2Q is a seasonally weak quarter for AIB with unit sales falling 10,000–20,000. Over 500,000 GPUs, or 33% of GPUs sold in retail, were sold to cryptocurrency miners.

Advanced Micro Devices’ (AMD) and NVIDIA’s (NVDA) revenue rose 24.7% and 14.6% sequentially in 2Q17, respectively. AMD’s sales rose faster than NVIDIA’s as miners prefer the former’s GPUs for mining purposes.

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Market share

This trend helped AMD’s market share rise almost two percentage points from 27.5% in 1Q17 to 29.4% in 2Q17, according to data from JPR. NVIDIA’s market share fell from 72.5% to 70.6% because crypto miners preferred AMD’s Radeon GPUs over NVIDIA’s GeForce GPUs.

AIB sales forecast for 3Q17

Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis expects the demand for mining GPUs to continue in 3Q17. 3Q is the peak season for AIB shipments as PC OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) prepare for the holiday season. There is a high probability that AIB shipments will reach a record high in 3Q17.

However, AMD may not benefit the most from this trend as its AIB partners have not yet launched any Vega GPUs for gaming because of supply shortage and manufacturing issues. However, AMD would benefit from overall growth in the global semiconductor market.

Next, we’ll look at the global semiconductor market.

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