Sales of PC microprocessors jump 10 percent, says IDC

But the increase doesn't signal the return of significant demand

The sale of microprocessors is bucking the economic downturn, as the number of PC processors sold rose about 10 percent during the second quarter compared to the first three months of this year, according to market research company IDC.

Revenue was also up, by approximately 8 percent, when comparing the first and the second quarter. The increase is unusually good for the second quarter of a year, according to IDC.

But at the same time IDC remains cautious, saying the jump in sales does not signal the return of significant demand for new PCs. The traditional back-to-school PC buying season won't save Intel, AMD or computer makers, according to IDC.

The growth comes in part from netbook makers who held off buying processors in the first quarter but are now filling their stockpiles again.

Also, the numbers also look less rosy when compared to the second quarter of last year. Unit shipments declined by 7 percent, and revenue shrank by about 15 percent.

Intel was the big winner. Intel's overall PC processor shipments increased 12.5 percent, and the shipments of Atom processors -- which are used in netbooks -- increased by 34 percent between the first and second quarter.

AMD's wasn't as successful; its overall shipments increased by about 2 percent in the same period.

The battle between the two continues, but their respective market shares remains about the same. Intel's share was approximately 79 percent and AMD's was just above 20 percent. Intel's market share grew by 1.6 percent but AMD lost about the same amount.

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