Worldwide semiconductor revenue totalled $476.7 billion in 2018, a 13.4 per cent increase from 2017, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. Memory strengthened its position as the largest semiconductor category, accounting for 34.8 per cent of total semiconductor revenue, up from 31 per cent in 2017.
“The largest semiconductor supplier, Samsung Electronics, increased its lead as the No. 1 vendor due to the booming DRAM market,” said Andrew Norwood, Vice President, analyst at Gartner.
“While 2018 continued to build on the growth established in 2017, the overall gains driven by memory were at half the 2017 growth rate. This is attributed to memory entering a downturn late in 2018.”
The combined revenue of the top 25 semiconductor vendors increased by 16.3 per cent during 2018 and accounted for 79.3 per cent of the market, outperforming the rest of the market, which saw a milder 3.6 per cent revenue increase. This is due to the concentration of the memory vendors in the top-25 ranking.
Intel’s semiconductor revenue grew by 12.2 per cent compared with 2017, driven by a combination of unit and average selling price (ASP) growth. Major memory vendors that performed strongly in 2018 include SK hynix, driven by DRAM, and Microchip Technology, due to its acquisition of Microsemi. The top four vendors in 2017 retained their ranking in 2018 (see Table 1).
Table 1. Top 10 Semiconductor Vendors by Revenue, Worldwide, 2018 (Millions of US Dollars)
|2018 Rank||2017 Rank||Vendor||2018 Revenue||2018 Market Share (%)||2017 Revenue||2017-2018 Growth (%)|
Source: Gartner (January 2019)
“The current rankings may see significant change this year with the expectation that memory market conditions will weaken in 2019,” said Mr Norwood. “Technology product managers must prepare for this limited growth to succeed in the semiconductor industry.”
Within the memory segment, NAND flash suffered a marked slowdown with ASP declines through much of the year due to oversupply. This device category still managed to show a 6.5 per cent revenue increase, driven by higher adoption of solid-state drives and increasing content in smartphones.