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Shake, rattle and roll, according to IC Insights

04 August 2008 | By Mark Osborne | Editor's Blog

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Quick-of-feet market research firm IC Insights has posted its first half year semiconductor supplier rankings based on revenues. If you had expected the majority of the top 20 chip firms to have posted lacklustre results due to the macro-economic woes, then think again!


If you thought it would be a case of all aboard, sinking with the ship with little shuffling in the rankings, then think again!

According to Bill McClean, there has been a major shake-up in the 1H08 rankings with the likes of Qualcomm and Broadcom climbing fast, while the memory manufacturers sink to new lows with the likes of NXP and AMD falling even faster.

IC Insights

Granted, the top four didn’t budge but below that level it’s a case of shake, rattle and roll.

On a roll are two of the biggest fabless (Qualcomm (1) Broadcom (3)) companies that are focused on the telecoms sector. If you thought that foundries would therefore benefit, you would be absolutely right, except for SMIC. The only foundry in the top 20 is TSMC and they saw growth of 35 percent, the highest of all companies.

Qualcomm is now ranked the 10th biggest chip firm, moving up from 14th position after posting revenue growth of 29 percent year-over-year for 1H08. Broadcom jumped three positions and is now the 20th largest semiconductor supplier in the world.

If you thought that others playing in the telecoms field should have also benefited, then think again!

Regardless of how much cash Texas Instruments can generate from is asset-lite business model, something isn’t going right at the industry veteran. TI retained its ranking position but the company registered the second-worst growth rate with err…zero growth.

NXP didn’t do any better than TI and fell four spots to 14th from 10th. The move to low-cost phones and therefore low cost ICs could be a continuing concern for TI and NXP. TI is also hit with the poor performing Motorola and a fight for a bigger slice of the Nokia pie with ST. Currently it looks like TI is losing on all fronts.

STMicroelectronics, another major telecoms player, has had a few rough years, but the 1H08 results would indicate that things are getting better, much better now that the troublesome memory arm has been spun off as Numonyx. Although the Numonyx spin-off cost ST a position in the rankings, the firm actually registered a 13 percent year-over-year growth rate.
It should come as no surprise that the majority (except Samsung) of memory suppliers suffered falls in their ranking positions. Qimonda, Elpida, Spansion, Powerchip and Nanya, for example, are no longer in the top 20. Hynix had the honor of showing the greatest revenue decline of -23 percent.

With the memory madness set to continue in the second half of the year, I would expect the next rankings report to be as volatile as the first half. Hold on to your seats!

IC Insights 

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