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Globalfoundries, Mircon, Qualcomm shine in IC supplier ranking

Posted: 16 May 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC supplier? chip market? semiconductor industry?

IC Insights is set to release the May update of its McClean Report, which shows Intel Corp. still owning the top spot in the IC supplier sales ranking. Intel commanded the lead by registering 68 percent higher sales level than second-ranked Samsung in 1Q12, compared to the 48 percent margin for all of 2011.

IC sales leaders

Figure 1 *Foundry **Fabless
Source: IC Insights' Strategic Reviews Database.

Globalfoundries 1Q12/1Q11 sales declined by 1 percent, but it replaced Elpida, whose 1Q12/1Q11 sales dropped by 34 percent, in the top 20 ranking. It currently appears that Micron has the best chance to eventually acquire Elpida out of bankruptcy. If this occurs, Micron would add between $2.5 and $3.0 billion in revenue to its annual sales, which could help move the company up one or two positions in the ranking.

Looking at Figure 1, there are now three pure-play foundries in the top 20 ranking. If these three foundry companies were excluded, Sharp, Marvell and Rohm would have been included in the 1Q12 top 20 listing.

In total, the top 20 semiconductor suppliers showed a 4 percent decline in 1Q12 sales as compared to 1Q11. This growth rate is 10 points less than IC Insights' full-year 2012/2011 worldwide semiconductor market growth forecast of 6 percent. Thus, while 1Q12 semiconductor sales results from most of the top 20 companies were generally disappointing, IC Insights, and most of the top 20 semiconductor companies themselves, expect much better sequential quarterly sales performance to be demonstrated starting in 2Q12. IC Insights forecasts that the 2Q12/1Q12 worldwide semiconductor market will show a 6 percent increase, followed by even stronger sequential growth in 3Q12.

Figure 2 shows there was a wide range of YoY growth rates among the top 20 semiconductor suppliers in 1Q12. It should be noted that the memory companies did not secure any of the top 10 growth rate positions. In fact, only three companies registered better than flat 1Q12/1Q11 growth ratesQualcomm, Fujitsu and Broadcom.

image name

Figure 2 *Foundry **Fabless
Source: IC Insights' Strategic Reviews Database.

Fabless semiconductor supplier Qualcomm rode the strong wave of high growth in the smartphone marketplace to post a stellar 56 percent YoY surge in semiconductor sales. This amazing increase was also spurred in part by the company's acquisition of Atheros in May of 2011. In fact, Qualcomm is now on pace to register over $12 billion in sales this year. In contrast to Qualcomm, each of the big four memory suppliers in the top 20 ranking (i.e., Samsung, Toshiba, SK Hynix and Micron) registered 1Q12/1Q11 sales declines with Samsung and SK Hynix logging double-digit drops.

Overall, it appears the bottom of the semiconductor market slowdown occurred for the majority of the top 20 companies in either 4Q11 or 1Q12. If the worldwide economy can at least continue on its slow growth rate trajectory and not slip back into a recession, the remainder of 2012 looks bright for the semiconductor industry and its suppliers.

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