Worldwide microprocessor revenues grew 23 percent in the third quarter of 2010 compared to the same time a year ago, and 3 percent compared to the second quarter of 2010, according to market research firm iSuppli. The rate of expansion should be considered very healthy growth, though the actual market share slices held by the world's two largest microprocessor manufacturers, Intel and AMD, have barely budged. Neither company was able to wrest significant market share away from the other in terms of revenue for the entire global processor market, including x86, RISC, and other types of general-purpose microprocessors.

Intel accounted for 80.1 percent of global revenue for microprocessors in Q3 2010, up 0.1 percentage points from Q3 2009, but down 0.3 percentage points sequentially in Q2 2010. AMD lost market share on both sequential and year-over comparisons, but the decrease amounted to less than one percentage point. The company accounted for 11.3 percent of worldwide microprocessor revenue during the period, down 0.9 percentage points from Q3 2009 and down 0.2 percentage point from Q2 2010.

"In reality, the share changes in the third quarter from the two incumbents were extremely small and not at all significant," Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at iSuppli, said in a statement. "What is significant, however, is that neither company has been able to take any sizable share away from the other. One reason is that each company offers well-matched competitive product portfolios. Another reason is that end markets are not undergoing significant changes in market share of product lineup that would impact microprocessor market share."