Extreme Results in Top 25 2011 Semiconductor Sales Ranking says IC Insights

ON Semiconductor and Elpida represented an 89-point swing in 2011 growth rates.

Although only 2% growth was registered in the worldwide semiconductor market (including ICs and Optoelectronics, Sensors, and Discretes; O-S-Ds) in 2011, several companies posted results that were far different (Figure 1). Boosted by its acquisition of Sanyo’s semiconductor business, ON Semiconductor registered a 49% sales increase last year and moved into the top 25 ranking for the first time!  Qualcomm, spurred by a 73% increase in smartphone unit shipments last year, logged a strong 38% increase in semiconductor sales in 2011.  At the other end of the spectrum was Elpida, which registered a steep sales drop of 40% (45% when expressed in yen)!

Although 15 of the top 25 semiconductor sales leaders posted negative results last year, in total, the top 10 and top 25 semiconductor suppliers grew 7% and 4%, respectively, in 2011 as compared to 2010.  These growth rates were much better than the 2% increase shown in the worldwide 2011/2010 semiconductor market.  A listing of the top 50 semiconductor suppliers of 2011 will be included in IC Insights' April Update, which is part of the subscription to The McClean Report.

As shown, Intel remained firmly in control of the number one spot in the ranking last year.  In fact, Intel, helped by its acquisition of Infineon’s wireless IC business, extended its lead over second-ranked Samsung by registering 48% more in semiconductor sales than Samsung in 2011 as compared to a 24% margin in 2010.

Healthy growth in its graphics and communications processor business helped Nvidia jump five positions and move the company to 18th place in the top 25 ranking.  In contrast, Elpida fell six spots in the ranking last year (from 13th to 19th) as the collapse in the DRAM market had a disastrous effect on the company.  In fact, Elpida lost almost $1.2 billion in the second half of calendar 2011 and filed for bankruptcy in 1Q12.

In contrast to 2010, memory companies did not secure the top growth rate positions in the ranking in 2011 (Figure 2).  In fact, as shown below, non-memory suppliers logged the top six growth rate increases last year.  Moreover, in the case of ON, Qualcomm, and Intel, 2011 semiconductor sales growth rates were significantly boosted by company and/or business segment acquisitions.

  1. ON Semi; 49% jump primarily due to the acquisition of Sanyo’s semiconductor business
  2. Qualcomm; 38% jump due to surging smartphone IC sales and its acquisition of Atheros
  3. Infineon; 29% growth from continuing operations (23% using 2010 exchange rates)
  4. Intel; 24% increase spurred in part by its acquisition of Infineon’s wireless business
  5. Nvidia; 10% growth due to healthy sales of graphics and communications processors
  6. TSMC; 10% (2% using 2010 exchange rates)

Of the big five memory suppliers in the top 25 ranking (i.e., Samsung, Toshiba, Hynix, Micron, and Elpida), only Samsung registered 2011/2010 growth.  In total, only 9 of the top 25 suppliers (including Infineon’s 29% sales growth from continuing operations) outperformed the total worldwide semiconductor industry 2011/2010 growth rate of 2%.


Figure 1





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