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Shake rattle and roll in IC Insights’ 1Q09 semiconductor company rankings

15 May 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Fab Management

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Only three companies held on to their 2008 positions in IC Insights Top 20 review of semiconductor companies for the first quarter of 2009. The global recession and inventory corrections have played havoc with revenues in the last quarter, according to the market research firm. Further shifts are expected in the second quarter due to a recovery in sales, IC Insights said.

Intel Corp remained the number 1 semiconductor company by revenue and Samsung continued to be placed second in the rankings. Fujitsu was the only other company to remain in the same position as they ranked in 2008, at number 17.

Key climbers included Qualcomm and AMD. Qualcomm moved from being ranked 8th in 2008 to 6th in 1Q09. IC Insights expects more good news from Qualcomm in 2009 as smart phones sell well.

AMD moved up three positions from 12th in 2008 to 9th in 1Q09. However, AMD itself expects 2Q09 sales to be worse than in 1Q09. IC Insights pondered whether AMD would remain in the Top10 for long?

With the worst utilization rates recorded, it wasn’t surprising to see TSMC fall down the ranking table. TSMC dropped six places in the 1Q09 ranking but managed to stay in the Top 10.

Here is where the upheavals really get noticed. IC Insights noted that using current exchange rates, TSMC’s 2Q09 sales will be about US$2.2 billion, a sequential increase of 89%! The rebound is due to customers restocking after 6-months of inventory depletions and a freeze on new production orders at TSMC. The result could see TSMC become the third largest semiconductor supplier in the world in 2Q09!

Also of interest is IC Insights view that both NXP and Nvidia, which fell outside the Top20 in 2008, could be back sooner rather than later as the market research firm expects a sales rebound.

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