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IC Insights notes shakeup in Q1 chip rankings

Posted: 19 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC supplier? DRAM? chip ranking?

IC Insight's Q1 IC suppliers ranking shows a major shuffle with European chipmakers faring poorly among the top 20.

Compared with the full 2007 ranking, NXP Semiconductors registered the biggest decline and STMicroelectronics also dropped a place, while Infineon Technologies managed to climb one spot.

IC Insights suggests sales for the top 20 in the Q1 08 hit $46.7 billion, up 11 percent from the same quarter last year, mainly due to the fact that several leading DRAM suppliers, including Qimonda, Spansion, Elpida and Nanya, are no longer part of its top 20.

ST, NXP slip
There were no surprises or movement amongst the top fourIntel, Samsung, Texas Instruments and Toshiba. Formerly on fifth, ST now occupies the 6th spot. The market research firm stresses that ST's Q1 08 and Q1 07 figures do not include its flash memory group sales, which are now part of Numonyx's sales. With that proviso, the company registered a "nice" 12 percent y-on-y growth rate in Q1 08 and has a relatively positive outlook for the next quarter.

Despite a moderate 4 percent y-on-y sales increase, NXP fell three positions in the Q1 ranking to from 11th from 14th.

Moving up
Amongst the climbers, mobile communications chip supplier Qualcomm's 29 percent y-on-y growth brought it four spots up to secure the 10th largest semiconductor supplier post. Qualmcomm rival and third largest fabless supplier, Broadcom, also jumped four positions in the ranking and is now positioned as the 20th largest IC supplier in the world.

Japanese consumer electronics powerhouse Panasonic (formerly Matsushita) jumped three places and moved into the 19th position, while NEC moved up two positions from 15th to 13th.

Nvidia registered a "blistering" 37 percent y-on-y increase in sales to move into the 18th position in the ranking, up two places from its 2007 rank. Also moving up one spot are Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd to fifth, Renesas to seventh, Sony to 8th and Infineon to 12th.

Not enough
Heading the other way, Qimonda's nightmare continued as the company dropped 10 positions from being ranked 19th overall in 2007 to 29th in Q1 08, suffering a y-on-y sales decline of 52 percent.

IBM also fell out of the top 20 ranking in Q1 08 even though its y-on-y sales increased 12 percent. IC Insights estimates the company is now ranked as the 22nd largest semiconductor supplier in the world, down from 18th in 2007.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. posted a solid 22 percent increase in Q1 08 compared to the same quarter last year, but still slid two positions from 10th to 12th.

Memory suppliers Hynix (9th) and Micron (15th) each fell two spots, although Micron showed a 2 percent increase in Q1 sales to $1.4 billion. Hynix, on the other hand, had a massive Q1 drop of 35 percent to $1.67 billion, the biggest decline amongst the top 20.

Staying put in the league table are Freescale Semiconductor and Fujitsu at the 16th and 17th positions, respectively.

The market research group notes that among the top 20 semiconductor suppliers, there was a 79-point swing from the fastest growing company (TSMC at 44 percent) to Hynix's performance. In addition, 14 of the top 20 companies had double-digit y-on-y growth rates, including the top two companies Intel and Samsung, while only two (Toshiba and Hynix) had declines.

IC Insights reiterated that it expects currency fluctuations will play a significant part in the 2008 semiconductor market figures as the strong yen and euro are converted into U.S. dollars.

"With the yen increasing in value 13 percent and the euro 14 percent in Q1 08 as compared to Q1 07, many Japanese and European companies' results are getting a boost when converted to U.S. dollars. Moreover, it should be kept in mind that this currency effect will also impact the worldwide semiconductor market figures when reported in U.S. dollars this year."

It also noted that in Q1, it required at least $ 1 billion worth of sales to make the top 20, and the variation was from Intel's $9.33 billion to Broadcom's $1.03 billion.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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