Intel has rather ambitious plans for its new Sandy Bridge architecture and it is currently projecting that Sandy will make up close to 20 percent of its desktop shipments in Q1, while the share should jump to around 75 percent by the end of 2011.
The first Sandy Bridge based processors should start to trickle into OEM stocks before the end of the year, under Core i5 and Core i7 brands. However, they will have a negligible effect on overall shipments with a total market share of about 2 percent.
Things will get much more interesting in Q1 2011, when Intel plans to introduce Sandy Bridge based Core i3 parts. They should make up around 8 percent of total sales in Q1, while Core i5 share should jump to 7 percent as well. The Core i7 share should double to 2 percent. By the end of Q1, the total Sandy Bridge share should come close to the 20 percent mark.
In Q2 2011 Intel will introduce its first Sandy Bridge based Pentiums, which will bring the new architecture closer to the masses. Although the Pentium series parts will start off with a share of about 5 percent in Q2, shipments are expected to triple in Q3 and by the end of the year Sandy Bridge Pentiums will account for roughly 25 percent of total Intel desktop shipments. The Core i3 will see somewhat slower growth, but it will also end the year with a similar share. Basically every second Intel desktop CPU sold in Q4 will be either a Core i3 or a Pentium based on the new Sandy Bridge core.
In the performance and high end segments, Sandy Bridge will also have a sizable chunk of the market in Q4. Core i5 will make up over 20 percent of total shipments, while Core i7 parts will account for 3 to 4 percent.
Clearly we are looking at a very ambitious transition plan, as Sandy Bridge will start to dominate nearly all market segments by mid-2011. AMD will have a tough time keeping up with Intel's aggressive strategy, but we are confident that the red team will manage to deliver competitive products as well, mainly in the mid-range and entry level market segments.