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Changes seen in chip rankings in 2006

Posted: 03 Nov 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC Insights  Intel  Samsung  Texas Instruments  Hynix 

IC Insights Inc. has released its forecast for the rankings of the worldwide top 15 semiconductor suppliers in 2006—with some major surprises on the horizon.

Intel Corp. is expected to remain the world's largest chipmaker, followed in order by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd and Texas Instruments Inc. The firm believes that the top three positions are unlikely to change when the full-year 2006 results are posted. However, the number 4 and 5 spots are still ''up for grabs'' between STMicroelectronics Inc. and Toshiba Corp.

Pure-play foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd, microprocessor supplier Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), and newly created memory IC specialist Qimonda Inc., are the only top 15 companies expected to move up in the 2006 rankings, according to IC Insights.

Ironically, there is also likely to be stiff competition between Infineon AG and its recent spin-off Qimonda for the 14th spot.

Three of the world's top 15 semiconductor suppliers are forecast to register greater than 30 percent growth in 2006—AMD, Hynix, and Qimonda. The strength in the DRAM market, which is expected to increase 26 percent in 2006, has spurred a surge in sales at Hynix and Qimonda, according to the firm.

AMD's 35 percent jump in 2006 sales illustrates its expected noticeable microprocessor market share increase this year. In contrast to the three high-growth companies mentioned above, Intel is forecast to post a sharp 11 percent decline in 2006 semiconductor sales, according to the firm.

In total, the top 15 companies' semiconductor sales are forecast to increase 8 percent this year, matching IC Insights' 8 percent forecast for total worldwide semiconductor sales growth in 2006.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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