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Semiconductor market forecasts and trends

Posted: 24 Sep 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC Insights? manufacturing? semiconductor? DRAM? Samsung?

The slow growth rates and lack of a hot driving market have made consolidation the main road to higher sales and profits in 2015.

"Financial analysts are saying if you haven't bought anyone in a year or two something's wrong with you, the mentality now is acquire or you're not doing your job," said McClean.

Inside the 25 chip companies

Semiconductor market

The impact of M&A can be seen among the top 25 companies where Samsung continues to slowly gain ground on Intel. Globalfoundries rose thanks to its acquisition of IBM's chip division, and the combinations of Avago/Broadcom and Freescale/NXP are poised to nudge up in the rankings.

Among the fastest growing, Samsung, Sony and China's HiSilicon topped the list. Only Samsung broke into double digits.

Among the biggest losers were Qualcomm that lost sockets in Samsung phones, also hurting its foundry TSMC. Toshiba had to restate its earnings following a scandal, and AMD reported its Q1 in many years under a billion dollars.

Semiconductor market

Outlook for DRAM, foundry, capex

Semiconductor market

By product, DRAM remains the largest slice of the chip market but it is expected to tumble from 34 per cent growth last year to a one-percent contraction in 2015. Memory makers are boosting production today, but "over the next five years there will be a lot of upheaval because traditional memory architectures won't be viable," McClean said.

The foundry sector continues to outpace the industry, showing double-digit growth, but it comes at a cost. Samsung and TSMC continue to fight for Apple's SoC business. Samsung lost a quarter of its foundry business last year as TSMC gave Apple as much as half its work, McClean estimates. Meanwhile Globalfoundries lost $1.5 billion over the past year as it rose to become the second largest foundry, said McClean.

"Intel is not on the map as a foundry yet," he added. "I don't think they have been very successful at all and they are acquiring one of their largest foundry customers in Altera," he said.

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