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Pure-play foundries, fabless suppliers dominate IC ranking

Posted: 02 Apr 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:pure-play foundries? fabless suppliers? IC manufacturers? McClean Report?

The top semiconductor sales leaders for 2012 represent a broad representation of geographic regions, with the top 10 suppliers coming from the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, Europe and South Korea. This is according to the April updates of IC Insights' 2013 McClean Report.

The top 25 worldwide semiconductor (ICs and O-S-Dsoptoelectronics, discretes, and sensors) sales leaders ranking includes three pure-play foundries (TSMC, GlobalFoundries, and UMC) and six fabless companies.

Top 25 IC suppliers

Figure 1: 2012 Top 25 semiconductor sales leaders ($M, including foundries)
Source: IC Insights' Strategic Reviews Database

IC Insights noted that the top five semiconductor suppliers all have different business models. Intel being essentially a pure-play IDM, Samsung a vertically integrated IC supplier, TSMC a pure-play foundry, Qualcomm a fabless company, and TI a fab-lite semiconductor supplier. In 2012, the pure-play foundries and fabless companies were the star performers.

IC foundries are included in the top 25 semiconductor supplier ranking because IC Insights has always viewed the ranking as a top supplier list, not as a market share ranking, and realizes that in some cases semiconductor sales are double counted. "With many of our clients being vendors to the semiconductor industry (supplying equipment, chemicals, gases, etc.), excluding large IC manufacturers such as the foundries would leave significant 'holes' in the list of top semiconductor suppliers," IC Insights said.

Foundries and fabless companies are each clearly identified in Figure 1. In the updated McClean Report, "market share" rankings of IC suppliers by product type are also presented and foundries are excluded from these rankings.

It should be noted that not all foundry sales should be excluded when attempting to create market share data. For example, although Samsung has a large amount of foundry sales, most of its sales are to Apple. Since Apple does not re-sell these devices, counting these foundry sales as Samsung semiconductor sales does not introduce double counting.

Overall, the list shown in Figure 1 is provided as a guideline to identify which companies are the leading semiconductor suppliers, whether they are IDMs, fabless companies, or foundries.

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