Total worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $299.4 billion in 2010, up $70.7 billion, or 30.9 per cent from 2009, the largest dollar increase for the semiconductor industry in any one year, according to Gartner, Inc. However, the industry just fell short of the milestone $300 billion revenue threshold.
Gartner said that the top 25 semiconductor suppliers accounted for 69.1 per cent of semiconductor industry revenue in 2010, and as a group, memory vendors showed the strongest growth.
"The industry-wide upturn was due to the combination of pent-up demand that had built in the wake of the worldwide economic recession, and rebuilding of semiconductor inventories that were significantly depleted during the recession and early recovery," said Peter Middleton, principal analyst at Gartner. "The market began to surge in the second half of 2009, as demand recovery in a variety of market sectors resulted in strong order rates. This continued, almost frantically, during the first half of 2010 as demand soared, prices rose, and we saw lead times expanding significantly."
Intel held the No. 1 position for the 19th consecutive year, with 14 per cent share (see Table 1 below), down from 14.6 per cent in 2009. Intel gained market share in some markets, but it lost ground in the total market, mainly at the hands of commodity memory vendors.
Second-placed Samsung Electronics enjoyed a strong growth year due to its exposure to the booming DRAM and NAND flash markets. Memory accounted for about 80 per cent of the company's sales in 2010. In the DRAM sector, the South Korean vendor was able to strengthen its No. 1 position, pushing its market share to record highs due to bit growth significantly above the rest of the market.
At No. 3, Toshiba's semiconductor revenue grew 28.7 per cent in 2010. The company grew its NAND flash memory business for mobile devices, as well as its discrete and optical electronics device businesses. Revenue for application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) declined in consumer electronics due to the decrease of video game business as market share shifted between component suppliers and the overall game console market started to slow. But ASIC revenue for the communications and automotive area grew with economic recovery in 2010.
Elsewhere in the top ten, tenth-placed Broadcom outperformed the overall industry by a considerable margin — with growth of 53 per cent over 2009. This allowed it to climb two ranks and enter the top 10 for the first time. All three of Broadcom's business units — broadband, mobile and wireless, and infrastructure and networking — performed well.
Vendor Relative Industry Performance
Market share tables by themselves give a good indication of which vendors did well or badly during a year, but they do not tell the whole story. More often than not, a strong or weak performance by a vendor is a result of the overall market growth of the device areas that the vendor participates in. Gartner's relative industry performance (RIP) index measures the difference between industry-specific growth for a company and actual growth, showing which are transforming their businesses by growing share or moving into new markets and choosing their customers wisely.
Several of the top 25 vendors performed significantly better than expected according to Gartner's RIP index. The four vendors that grew better than 10 percent beyond expectations on the RIP index were Broadcom, Marvell, Samsung Electronics and NXP. In contrast, four vendors missed expectations by more than 10 per cent: Rohm, Renesas Electronics, Nvidia and MediaTek.
Gartner's annual semiconductor market share analysis examines and ranks the worldwide and regional revenue for more than 275 semiconductor suppliers in 62 separate product categories and eight major market categories. It serves as a benchmark for semiconductor industry performance, as well as a means for individual companies to assess their revenue performance against their competitors'.
The report is available on Gartner's Web site at Gartner.com