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Downturn shuffles IC supplier rankings

Posted: 18 May 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor companies  chip suppliers  fabless 

In the midst of an economic downturn, 17 of the top 20 semiconductor companies changed positions in the first quarter, according to IC Insights Inc., which expects more volatility in the second quarter.

Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd retained their rankings as the No. 1 and No. 2 chip suppliers, respectively, but the rest of the top 10 supplier list was shaken up, according to the market research firm.

Japan's Toshiba Corp., with chip revenue of just over Rs.10,123.61 crore ($2 billion) in the quarter, jumped to No. 3, displacing Texas Instruments Inc., which slipped to No. 4 on the list. STMicroelectronics moved to No. 5 from No. 6 in the first quarter, while foundry giant TSMC slipped from No. 4 all the way to No. 10, according to the rankings.

1Q09 top 20 semiconductor sales leaders

1Q09 top 20 semiconductor sales leaders (Click to view full image)

Fabless chip vendor Qualcomm Inc., which became the first fabless company to enter the top 10 chip supplier list last year, moved to the sixth position in the first quarter after being ranked No. 8 in the fourth quarter..

IC Insights said TSMC, which relies mostly on fabless customers for business, was caught in a "hellacious" two-quarter inventory burn period. But the firm noted that TSMC is expecting second quarter sales of about Rs.11,135 crore ($2.2 billion), which would represent 89 per cent sequential growth.

AMD slipped into the top 10 in the first quarter, moving up three spots. But IC Insights noted that AMD is among the few IC makers that expects second quarter sales to be worse than the first quarter and questioned whether it could remain in the top 10.

Fabless supplier MediaTek joined the top 20 ranking by jumping five positions and was the only top 20 vendor to register a sequential sales increase from the fourth quarter of 2008, IC Insights said. MediaTek's revenues were up 16 per cent quarter to quarter, according to the firm.

NXP and Nvidia both fell out of the top 20 list in the first quarter, with NXP falling from 15 in 2008 to 21 in the first quarter, IC Insights note. Nvidia slipped to 22 from 20. But IC Insights said it expects a significant rebound in sales for each company in the second quarter, perhaps enough to get them back into the top 20.

-Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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