Supply shortages and mining batter the AIB market

Quarter-to-quarter graphics add-in board shipments decreased by -3.9% and decreased -6.5% year-to-year

Robert Dow

The add-in board market will grow at a compound annual rate of 0.3 percent during 2020–2025 to reach a total of 43 million units at the end of the forecast period. Over the next five years, the penetration of add-in boards in the PC will grow to reach a level of 21 percent.

As part of its Add-in-Board (AIB) report subscription services, Jon Peddie Research has continuously tracked AIB shipments.

The market shares for the desktop discrete GPU suppliers shifted in the quarter too, Nvidia increased market share from last quarter, and Nvidia increased share from last year.

Market share changes quarter-to-quarter, and year-to-year


Add-in boards (AIBs) use discrete GPUs (dGPU) with dedicated memory. Desktop PCs, workstations, servers, rendering, mining farms, and scientific instruments use AIBs. Consumers and enterprises buy AIBs from resellers or OEMs. They can be part of a new system or installed as an upgrade to an existing system. Systems with AIBs represent the higher end of the graphics industry. Entry-level systems use integrated GPUs (iGPU) in CPUs that share slower system memory.

The PC AIB market currently has two dGPU suppliers, which also build and sell AIBs. The primary suppliers of GPUs are AMD and Nvidia. There are 54 AIB suppliers. They are the AIB OEM customers of the two major GPU suppliers, which they call “partners.” Some of the AIB suppliers offer AMD and Nvidia-based products, and others provide only one or the other.

There are private branded AIBs offered worldwide. Also, about a dozen PC suppliers offer AIBs as part of a system and/or as an option. Many OEMs offer AIBs as aftermarket products. We have been tracking quarterly AIB shipments since 1987. Those boards’ volume peaked in 1999, reaching 114 million units when every PC had a graphics AIB in it. This quarter 11.0 million shipped.

The AIB market reached $14.8 billion last year. We forecast it to be $18.6 billion by 2023. Intel’s entry into the market could, due to the strength of their brand and position with OEMs, create an increase the unit shipments and TAM  Since 1981, 2,083 million AIBs have been shipped.

The fourth quarter is normally flat to up from the previous quarters. This quarter it was down -3.9% from the last quarter. That is below the ten-year average of -2.8% which is quite lower when compared to the desktop CPU market, which increased 27.9% from the last quarter.

Every AIB manufactured has been sold, almost as soon as they are released.

Shown in the following charts are the relative changes from quarter-to-quarter.

  Q4'19 Q3'20 Q4'20
Desktop PCs 27 23 29
AIBs M units 12 11 11
Attach rate 43% 51% 38%
Shipments of desktop CPUs compared to desktop AIBs over time


On a year-to-year basis, we found total AIB shipments during the quarter fell -6.5%, which is more than desktop CPUs, which rose 5.2% from the same quarter a year ago.

AIBs shipments had been declining, but not as great as the PC, until the fourth quarter. AMD and Nvidia faced a constrained supply of parts. Stand-alone AIBs going into the channel were brought by scalers and Bots as soon as they were available. OEM customers with contracts with AMD and Nvidia got their allocated boards and their systems sold just as briskly.

JPR also publishes a series of reports on the PC Gaming Hardware Market, which covers the total market including system and accessories, and looks at 31 countries. More information can be found here: Worldwide PC Gaming Hardware Market Report Series 


Pricing and availability

Jon Peddie Research’s AIB Report is now available and sells for $2,750. The annual subscription price for JPR’s AIB Report is $5,500 and includes four quarterly issues and four hours of consulting. Full subscribers to JPR services Tech Watch are eligible for a 10% discount. Bundle packages are also available. For information about purchasing the AIB Report, please call 415/435-9368 or visit the Jon Peddie Research website at

Contact Robert Dow at JPR ([email protected]) for a free sample of any of our reports.

About Jon Peddie Research
Dr. Jon Peddie has been active in the graphics and multimedia fields for more than 30 years. Jon Peddie Research is a technically oriented multimedia and graphics research and consulting firm. Based in Tiburon, California, JPR provides consulting, research, and other specialized services to technology companies in a variety of fields including graphics development, multimedia for professional applications and consumer electronics, high-end computing, and Internet-access product development. JPR’s Market Watch is a quarterly report focused on the market activity of PC graphics controllers for notebook and desktop computing.

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Jon Peddie, Jon Peddie Research
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Robert Dow, Jon Peddie Research 
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