The world's x86 chip market saw a 9.1 percent year-over-year decline in the first quarter of 2009, according to a recent report from Mercury Research. Laptop processor shipments in particular took a big hit as consumers and businesses cut back on their purchases. Yet, going against this trend, AMD managed to regain some significant share as it celebrated its 40th birthday, with their slice of the market growing almost four points in the first quarter of the year.

The struggling chip vendor moved from a 17 percent share of shipments in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 20.9 percent the past quarter; which is also up slightly from its 1Q 2008 share of 20.6 percent. It's not clear which processors were selling better than others, though AMD's gain is likely tied to the debut of the Phenom II line. Intel for its part continues to hold a dominant 78.2 percent market share, down from 82.1 percent, while Via came a distant third with less than one percent of worldwide x86 shipments.

While this is certainly a bit of good news for AMD, Mercury Research's Dean McCarron claims the quarter has been defined by inventory adjustments, meaning that manufacturers have cleared the excess inventory caused by the recession and that these statistics may not reflect the actual state of the market or market share.