2009 worst year ever for graphics

graphics card close up

This year will turn out to be the worst ever year for the computer graphics market, according to a report from graphics specialist Jon Peddie Research. However, those producing the visuals for our computers need not despair as 2010 will see a massive bounce back.

According to the report, year-on-year shipments will drop by 12 per cent over last year, which saw a 6.1 increase over 2007. However, in 2010 the industry can expect a 21.5 per cent increase, followed by another healthy 12 per cent increase in 2011. This year's drop is a clear indicator of the effects of the recession on the computer industry as a whole, according to the report, as graphics chips are core parts that go straight to the ODMs and OEMs that build and ship PCs.

The resurgence will come largely from portable devices such as notebooks and netbooks but, interestingly, desktops are still the preferred platform for power users and professionals. This is more good news for the graphics industry though, as these often feature discrete graphics cards, which command a higher price premium.

Another growth area, according to the report, will be so-called 'GPU Compute' applications, where graphics cards are used as dedicated processors for advanced computations in fields such as oil research and even the hunt for aliens.

"2009 was tough for technology industry and beyond", Fiona Faulkner, Nvidia's senior sales director for northern Europe told IT PRO in an email.

"Unfortunately, the recession meant that was the same for everybody in business.. the rest of 2009 and 2010 offers exciting possibilities GPU Computing is becoming more mainstream every day... and Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard will continue to bring GPU Compute to the mass market."

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.