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European firms drop in IC Insights ranking

Posted: 19 May 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chipmakers  fabless  semiconductor market 

European chipmakers fare poorly in the top 20 of IC Insights' Q1 suppliers ranking.

Compared with the full 2007 ranking, NXP Semiconductors registered the biggest decline. STMicroelectronics also dropped a place, while Infineon Technologies managed to climb one spot. Fabless companies Qualcomm and Broadcom showed the biggest gains.

IC Insights suggests sales for the top 20 in the Q1 08 hit Rs.186,898.40 crore ($46.7 billion), up 11 per cent from the same quarter last year, mainly due to the fact that several leading DRAM suppliers, including Qimonda, Spansion, Elpida and Nanya are no longer part of its top 20.

There were no surprises or movement amongst the top four—Intel, Samsung, Texas Instruments and Toshiba. Formerly on fifth, ST now occupies the 6th spot. The market research firm stresses that ST's Q1 08 and Q1 07 figures do not include its flash memory group sales, which are now part of Numonyx's sales. With that proviso, the company registered a "nice" 12 per cent y-on-y growth rate in Q1 08 and has a relatively positive outlook for the next quarter.

Despite a moderate 4 per cent y-on-y sales increase, NXP fell three positions in the Q1 ranking to from 11th from 14th.

Amongst the climbers, mobile communications chip supplier Qualcomm' 29 per cent y-on-y growth brought it four spots up and to secure the 10th largest semiconductor supplier post.

The third largest fabless supplier, Broadcom, also jumped four positions in the ranking and is now positioned as the 20th largest IC supplier in the world.

Japanese consumer electronics powerhouse Panasonic (formerly Matsushita) jumped three places and moved into the 19th position, while NEC moved up two positions from 15th to 13th.

Nvidia registered a "blistering" 37 per cent y-on-y increase in sales to move into the 18th position in the ranking, up two places from its 2007 rank. Also moving up one spot in are Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to fifth, Renesas to seventh, Sony to 8th and Infineon to 12th.

Heading the other way, Qimonda's nightmare continued as the company dropped 10 positions from being ranked 19th overall in 2007 to 29th in Q1 08, suffering a y-on-y sales decline of 52 per cent.

IBM also fell out of the top 20 ranking in Q1 08 even though its y-on-y sales increased 12 per cent. IC Insights estimates the company is now ranked as the 22nd largest semiconductor supplier in the world, down from 18th in 2007.

Advanced Micro Devices posted a solid 22 per cent increase in Q1 08 compared to the same quarter last year, but still slid two positions from 10th to 12th.

Memory suppliers Hynix (9th) and Micron (15th) each fell two spots, although Micron showed a 2 per cent increase in Q1 sales to Rs.5,602.95 crore ($1.4 billion), while sales at Hynix dropped a massive 35 per cent to Rs.6,683.52 crore ($1.67 billion), the biggest decline amongst the top 20.

Staying put in the league table are Freescale Semiconductor and Fujitsu at the 16th and 17th positions, respectively.

The market research group notes that among the top 20 semiconductor suppliers, there was a 79-point swing from the fastest growing company (TSMC at 44 per cent) to Hynix's performance. In addition, 14 of the top 20 companies had double-digit Q1 08/Q1 07 growth rates, including the top two companies Intel and Samsung, while only two (Toshiba and Hynix) had declines.

IC Insights reiterated that it expects currency fluctuations will play a significant part in the 2008 semiconductor market figures as the strong yen and euro are converted into U.S. dollars.

"With the yen increasing in value 13 per cent and the euro 14 per cent in 1Q08 as compared to 1Q07, many Japanese and European companies' results are getting a boost when converted to U.S. dollars. Moreover, it should be kept in mind that this currency effect will also impact the worldwide semiconductor market figures when reported in U.S. dollars this year."

It also noted that in Q108, it required at least Rs.4,002.11 crore ($ 1 billion) worth of sales to make the top 20, and the variation was from Intel's Rs.37,339.66 crore ($9.33 billion) to Broadcom's Rs.4,122.17 crore ($1.03 billion).

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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