Who's afraid of the big bad IGC?
Anyone who knows anything about computer architecture, graphics, market dynamics, silicon fabrication, how to pick stocks, or the current occupant of Grant's tome, KNOWS that the integrated graphics controller (IGC) and it's bigger cousin the integrated graphics processor (IGP), IGCs with T&L engines and more powerful graphics, are going to take over the world and not only put the discrete graphics chip suppliers out of business, but to shame as well.
It's as obvious as Moore's law that it's over for the big time graphics guys and that the IGC/IGPs will satisfy the needs of the office and web-browsing, e-mail writing user of the world, who, as everyone KNOWS, constitute the major majority of users representing something close to 99.999-percent. You knew that, didn't you?
Just in case you didn't know that, we've done the research at JPR, and here's what we found, and subsequently projected.
The IGC market for desktops and portable PCs will grow from 29 million units in 2002 to 58.5 million units in 2003, corresponding to a growth rate of over 100% with the portable segment the fastest growing segment of the PC market.
The P4 Bubble
The trend is obvious. Intel spurred this market when they entered it, and when they fell back because they didn't have an IGC for the P4, the market share of discrete GPUs on add-in boards (AIBs) increased, often referred to as the "P4 bubble." And then, POP, Intel introduced the "Good Enough Graphics," (GEG) i845G IGC, or so the common wisdom story goes.
Well the stock market certainly believed it knocked Nvidia's share price back-three times because of "common knowledge" about the GEG i845G. ATI took a hit or two too, as did VIA and SiS-man, that GEG i845G IGC is some killer part, no? Ah, no, no it's not.
In fact, in tests conducted by the ODMs and a few OEMs, it has been discovered (but not publicly disclosed0 that the chunking i845 is NGE-not-good-enough. As a result, we have discovered that twenty to thirty-percent of the systems shipped with IGC, Intel's and everyone else's, gets an AIB added to them, either by the OEM or as a retrofit by the user.