Top 20 semicon suppliers: Shakeups rock 1H08

CIOL Bureau
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USA: IC Insights' recent research for its Strategic Reviews Online IC company database uncovered a big shakeup in the 1H08 top 20 semiconductor supplier ranking (Fig. 1). 


There are eight US companies in the top 20 (including three fabless semiconductor suppliers), six Japanese, three European, two South Korean, and one Taiwanese company (IC foundry supplier TSMC) in the ranking. 

As shown, it required at least $2.1 billion in 1H08 sales to make the top 20 ranking.  Although the top four ranked companies remained the same, there were a number of "movers and shakers" up and down the remainder of the 1H08 ranking as compared to their full-year 2007 positions.

1H08 Top 20 semicon suppliers, Source: IC Insights


Fig. 1


* Cell phone IC supplier Qualcomm used a 29 percent year-over-year 1H08 growth rate to jump four spots and rank as the 10th largest semiconductor supplier in 1H08.

* The third largest fabless supplier, Broadcom, jumped three positions and is now positioned as the 20th largest semiconductor supplier in the world.

* Japanese consumer electronics powerhouse Panasonic (formerly Matsushita) and NEC were boosted by the strong Japanese yen versus the US dollar. Each jumped three places and moved into the 18th and 12th positions, respectively, in the top 20 ranking.

* Moving up one place each in 1H08 were TSMC, Renesas, and Infineon.


* DRAM-supplier Qimonda's nightmare continued in 1H08 as the company dropped 12 positions from being ranked 18th overall in 2007 to 30th in 1H08.  The company endured a 1H08/1H07 sales decline of 47 percent (which would have been worse if not for the strength of the euro) and suffered a loss of more than $2.2 billion in its first three quarters of fiscal 2008!

* Despite a relatively flat 1H08/1H07 sales result, NXP fell four spots to 14th from 10th.

* AMD posted a decent 9 percent increase in 1H08/1H07 sales, yet slid four positions from 11th to 15th.

* Eighth-ranked memory supplier Hynix fell only one spot in the ranking although its 1H08/1H07 sales tumbled 23 percent, the only 1H08/1H07 sales decline of any top 20 semiconductor supplier!

* ST fell one position in the ranking and now occupies the 6th spot.  It should be noted that the company's 1H08 and 1H07 figures do not include FMG (flash memory group) sales, which are now part of Numonyx's sales.  As shown, the company registered a solid 13 percent year-over-year growth rate in 1H08 and has a relatively positive outlook for its second half as well.

* TI did not drop in the ranking, but the company registered the second-worst growth rate of any top 20 semiconductor supplier in 1H08 (0 percent).  TI has been a significant supplier to the cellular handset market segment for many years.  However, in IC Insights' opinion, it would be wise not to extrapolate the company's weak 1H08 performance to the overall cell phone marketplace.


Moreover, the excellent 1H08 performance of Qualcomm and ST, also major IC suppliers to the cell phone industry, appears to indicate that TI's poor 1H08 results are more a reflection of a TI-specific "problem" than an overall cell phone market issue.

Source: iSuppli

Fig. 2


With many of the major DRAM and flash suppliers (e.g., Qimonda, Elpida, Spansion, Powerchip, Nanya, etc.) no longer part of the top 20 ranking, the total 1H08/1H07 sales of the top 20 semiconductor suppliers displayed a very strong 10 percent increase as compared to the total worldwide semiconductor market increase of 6 percent. 


Among the top 20 semiconductor suppliers, there was a 58-point swing (Fig. 2) from the company that showed the fastest growth (TSMC at +35 percent) to the company that registered the steepest decline (Hynix at -23 percent).

As shown in Fig. 2, more than half of the top 20 companies had double-digit 1H08/1H07 growth rates.  Moreover, seven companies registered 1H08 growth rates that were more than three times the 6 percent growth rate of the entire 1H08 semiconductor market (TSMC, Qualcomm, Panasonic, Nvidia, Samsung, Broadcom, and Infineon)! It goes to show that there are still "star" performers in a "slow" market.

As was mentioned in IC Insights' March Update to The McClean Report, currency fluctuations are playing a big part in the 2008 semiconductor market figures as the strong yen and euro are converted into US dollars. With the yen and euro each increasing in value 13 percent in 1H08 as compared to 1H07, many Japanese and European companies' results are getting a "boost" when converted to US dollars. Moreover, this currency effect will also serve to inflate the 2008 worldwide semiconductor market figures when reported in US dollars.

Source: IC Insights