El Segundo, Calif. —Led by memory chip sales, global semiconductor revenue increased 5.0 percent in 2013, according to the latest research from IHS Technology. Total semiconductor revenue reached $318.1 billion in 2013, up from $303.1 billion in 2012.
Last year’s growth “reversed the disappointing 2.4 percent loss of 2012, when revenue contracted from $310.6 billion in 2011,” said IHS. In 2013, the top 25 chip makers accounted for $225.3 billion in revenue, holding a market share of 71 percent, up from 69 percent in 2012. The market leader Intel tallied $47.0 billion, or 15 percent of the market.
“Memory ICs were the key drivers of growth in the semiconductor industry in 2013,” said Dale Ford, vice president at IHS Technology, in a statement. “Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) showed the strongest expansion among major memory segments, with revenue surging by 32.5 percent as suppliers were able to achieve a balance between supply and demand that yielded lucrative pricing for parts. NAND flash also posted a strong year—at 24.2 percent growth—as demand for the memory from smartphones and tablets continued to rise.”
The report, “DRAM and NAND in Wireless Propel Global Semiconductor Growth in 2013,” from the IHS Semiconductors and Components service, also reveals that several other product groups helped grow sales last year, including small-signal field-effect transistors (FET), which grew 21.3 percent; logic application-specific standard products (ASSP) for wireless communications, which rose 15.3 percent, and analog ASSPs for wireless, which increased 13.5 percent.
Other growth drivers included automotive logic ASSPs, growing 14.0 percent, while automotive analog application specific ICs (ASSPs and ASICs) increased 8.1 percent. Microcontrollers (MCU) for smart cards and IC cards also grew in the double digits, up 12.5 percent.
Strong end markets in 2013 were the wireless communications markets, up 13.1 percent; industrial electronics, up 9.4 percent, and automotive electronics, rising 5.7 percent.
In terms of supplier rankings, memory makers fared very well last year. Micron Technology, thanks to both organic growth and the acquisition of Elpida Memory, grew revenue by 108.5 percent, driving Micron up six positions to No. 4 in 2013, up from tenth place in 2012.
SK Hynix also moved up in the rankings from No. 7 to No. 5 thanks to 42.8 percent organic growth. Memory suppliers accounted for three of the top five slots in 2013.
Other growth leaders include Qualcomm, maintaining its No. 3 position with 30.6 percent growth, and MediaTek, which moved to No. 14 with 36.1 percent growth. NXP Semiconductors, Avago Technologies, and Xilinx, also grew, increasing 13.7, 9.2, and 4.6 percent, respectively. Both Avago and Xilinx jumped four positions to make the Top 25 ranking.
However, the report also finds that Japanese chip suppliers struggled last year. Renesas Electronics, Sony and Rohm Semiconductor all experienced down sales last year, falling by 13.7, 27.0 and 14.4 percent, respectively. This also translated into a down year for Japan overall with chip revenue falling 17.9 percent.
In contrast, semiconductor suppliers headquartered in Asia-Pacific increased revenue 14.7 percent, garnering 25.3 percent of the chip market share. IHS reports this is the largest share ever for the region, and the first time Asia-Pacific accounted for more than a quarter of the worldwide semiconductor market.
Companies headquartered in the Americas had a combined growth rate of 8.7 percent, holding 52.4 percent of the market share.