The top 20 semiconductor companies are expected to increase their sales by three percent in 2016, according to a new IC Insights report. This is two percentage points higher than the market research firm’s worldwide semiconductor market forecast for 2016.
The report also finds that five of the top 20 - Nvidia, MediaTek, Apple, Toshiba, and TSMC – will post a double-digit increase this year, and four - SK Hynix, Micron, GlobalFoundries, and NXP – will record a double-digit decline.
The fastest growing top 20 supplier is U.S.-based Nvidia, which is expected to post a 35 percent year-over-year increase in sales. “The company is riding a surge of demand for its graphics processor devices (GPUs) and Tegra processors with its year-over-year sales in its latest quarter (ended October 30, 2016) up 63 percent for gaming, 193 percent for data center, and 61 percent for automotive applications,” according to IC Insights.
MediaTek follows with an expected sales increase of 29 percent in 2016. IC Insights attributes the strong growth to application processor shipments to the fast-growing China-based smartphone suppliers such as Oppo and Vivo, despite expected global smartphone unit volume sales of only four percent this year.
IC Insights includes foundries in the top 20 semiconductor supplier ranking and said it realizes that in some cases the semiconductor sales are double counted. The top 20 list is a guideline “to identify which companies are the leading semiconductor suppliers, whether they are IDMs, fabless companies, or foundries,” said IC Insights.
The ranking includes three pure-play foundries - TSMC, GlobalFoundries, and UMC - and five fabless companies.
“If the three pure-play foundries were excluded from the top 20 ranking, U.S.-based fabless supplier AMD ($4,238 million), China-based fabless supplier HiSilicon ($3,762 million), and Japan-based IDM Sharp ($3,706 million), would have been ranked in the 18th, 19th, and 20th positions, respectively,” IC Insights said. China-based contract manufacturer Foxconn acquired a controlling interest – 66 percent - in Sharp for $3.8 billion in August 2016.
To make the top 20 ranking, semiconductor suppliers will have to post about $4.5 billion in sales this year. Currently, IC Insights forecasts that nine of the top 20 will record sales of at least $10 billion.
“If Qualcomm’s purchase of NXP is completed, as is expected in late 2017, the combined annual semiconductor sales of these two companies will likely be over $25 billion going forward,” said IC Insights.
Intel, which retains its number one spot, is forecast to increase its lead over Samsung from 24 percent in 2015 to 29 percent in 2016. However, Apple is expected to make the biggest jump in the ranking, up three spots. Both MediaTek and Nvidia are expected to move up by two positions.
“Apple is an anomaly in the top 20 ranking with regards to major semiconductor suppliers,” said IC Insights. “The company designs and uses its processors only in its own products—there are no sales of the company’s MPUs to other system makers.”
The “sales value” of Apple’s custom ARM-based SoC processors is estimated at $6.5 billion in 2016.
No new entrants are expected to make the top 20 ranking this year. However, IC Insights expects the top 20 ranking to undergo significant changes over the next few years as a result of possible acquisitions and mergers.
IC Insights will release its November Update to the 2016 McClean Report later this month and its 20th anniversary edition of The McClean Report in January 2017.