Over the past few years the analog IC market has seen good growth driven by several markets including LED lighting, smart power management, and now wearables, growing nine percent in 2014. Texas Instruments (TI) continues to be the leading supplier of analog devices with $8.1 billion in sales in 2014, increasing its analog market share to 18 percent, according to a new IC Insights report.
Rounding out the top five are STMicroelectronics, Infineon, Analog Devices, and Skyworks Solutions. The top 10 analog IC suppliers accounted for 57 percent of the total analog sales in 2014, up from 56 percent in 2013, according to the IC Insights’ April Update to The McClean Report 2015.
Among the top ten suppliers, six companies grew revenues in excess of $2.0 billion and three others exceeded $1.0 billion in analog sales last year. Only Renesas tallied less than $1.0 billion. Suppliers with the strongest growth rates last year were Skyworks Solutions (42%), NXP (21%), and Texas Instruments (13%), all outperforming the total analog market growth rate of nine percent.
Always pushing to grow its analog IC market share, TI, particularly over the past several years, has made some big investments in that direction. Most recently, the company announced it was transferring more of its analog manufacturing to a new 300-mm wafer fab and converting an older DMOS6 plant for analog production. TI expects the 300-mm fabs to help reduce its total production costs by up to 40 percent, increase its available manufacturing capacity, and deliver greater flexibility to respond to customer demands.
In 2009, TI purchased 300-mm manufacturing tools from Qimonda and became the first company to manufacture analog ICs on 300-mm equipment, said IC Insights. This was followed by the acquisition of two wafer fabs operated by Spansion in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Japan, and a 200-mm fab in China from Cension Semiconductor Manufacturing in Chengdu in 2010. In 2011, TI acquired National Semiconductor.
Further cementing its leadership role in the analog IC design world, TI recently launched its TI Precision Labs, a comprehensive online classroom for analog engineers. The on-demand courses include theory and applied lab exercises for both experienced and newly minted engineers.
The outcome of its investments: TI’s analog sales accounted for 62 percent of its total revenue in 2014. The company’s revenue is also nearly 3x larger than the number two ranked supplier, STMicroelectronics, whose sales grew two percent and accounted for six percent market share, according to IC Insights. ST attributed its lower analog sales to softer equipment sales in computer, consumer, automotive and industrial markets. The three European suppliers on the top 10 list – ST, Infineon, and NXP – accounted for 16 percent analog market share in 2014, according to the report.
Skyworks Solutions, ranked No. five, had the strongest growth rate, increasing analog IC sales by 42 percent, thanks to the smart phone market. The company supplies analog and mixed-signal semiconductors to Apple, Samsung, and other mobile device manufacturers, said IC Insights. The market research firm said it “has been estimated that Skyworks supplies $4 worth of content from every new iPhone 6 handset.”
Skyworks is also placing bets on the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) market. “In 2015, the company said it would look to the automotive, home, and wearable markets to expand its presence in applications linked to the Internet of Things,” said IC Insights.
Also playing in the mobile device market is Analog Devices Inc. (ADI), which purchased Hittite Microwave in mid-2014, giving ADI a specialized portfolio for RF and signal-conversion applications. IC Insights expects ADI to provide devices that enable the 3D/Force Touch feature, available on the Apple Watch, to the iPhone 6 that is set to launch in the second half of 2015 and new generations of the iPad.
In 2015, IC Insights expects ICs that support mobile devices to see better-than-industry-average growth, including power management ICs, as well as application-specific analog devices used in medical/personal health electronic systems and the IoT.