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IC Insights
IC Insights
IC Insights, Inc. is a leading semiconductor market research company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. Founded in 1997, IC Insights offers complete analysis of the integrated circuit (IC), optoelectronic, sensor/actuator, and discrete semiconductor markets with coverage including current … More »

9 of the Top 12 Smartphone Suppliers Headquartered in China​

 
June 21st, 2018 by IC Insights
China accounted for 7 of top 10 leading smartphone suppliers in 2017, share grows to 42%.

IC Insights recently released its Update to its 2018 IC Market Drivers Report.  The Update includes IC Insights’ latest outlooks on the smartphone, automotive, PC/tablet and Internet of Things (IoT) markets.

The Update shows a final 2017 ranking of the top smartphone leaders in terms of unit shipments.  As shown in Figure 1, 9 of the top 12 smartphone suppliers were headquartered in China.  Two South Korean companies (Samsung and LG) and one U.S. supplier (Apple) were the other leaders.

Figure 1

Samsung and Apple dominated the smartphone market from 2015 through 2017.  In total, these two companies shipped 526 million smartphones and held a combined 35% share of the total smartphone market in 2016. Moreover, these two companies shipped over one-half billion smartphones (533 million) in 2017 with their combined smartphone unit marketshare increasing one point to 36%.

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Automotive IC Market on Pace for Third Consecutive Record Growth Year

 
May 31st, 2018 by IC Insights
18.5% forecast increase in 2018 driven by systems monitoring and control, safety, ADAS, convenience, and growth of autonomous driving.  Continued rise of memory ASP adds to growth.
Consumer demand and government mandates for electronic systems that improve vehicle performance, that add comfort and convenience, and that warn, detect, and take corrective measures to keep drivers safe and alert are being added to new cars each year. This system growth, along with rising prices for memory components within them, are expected to raise the automotive IC market 18.5% this year to a new record high of $32.3 billion, surpassing the previous record of $27.2 billion set last year (Figure 1), according to IC Insights’ soon to be released Update to the 2018 IC Market Drivers report.  If the forecast holds, it would mark the third consecutive year of double-digit growth for the automotive IC market.

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Semi Capex Forecast to Exceed $100B for the First Time in 2018

 
May 22nd, 2018 by IC Insights
IC Insights raises its full-year spending growth forecast for this year from 8% to 14%.
IC Insights recently released its May Update to the 2018 McClean Report.  This Update included a look at the top-25 1Q18 semiconductor suppliers, a discussion of the 1Q18 IC industry market results, and an update of the 2018 capital spending forecast by company.Overall, the capital spending story for 2018 is becoming much more positive as compared with the forecast presented in IC Insights’ March Update to The McClean Report 2018 (MR18).  In the March Update, IC Insights forecast an 8% increase in semiconductor industry capital spending for this year. However, as shown in Figure 1, IC Insights has raised its expectations for 2018 capital spending by six percentage points to a 14% increase.  If this increase occurs, it would be the first time that semiconductor industry capital outlays exceeded $100 billion.  The worldwide 2018 capital spending forecast figure is 53% higher than the spending just two years earlier in 2016.

Although Samsung says it still does not have a full-year capital spending forecast for this year it did say it will spend “less” in semiconductor capital outlays in 2018 as compared to 2017, when it spent $24.2 billion.  However, as of 1Q18, with regard to its capex, its “foot is still on the gas!”  Samsung spent $6.72 billion in capex for its semiconductor division in 1Q18, slightly higher than the average of the previous three quarters.  This figure is almost 4x the amount the company spent just two years earlier in 1Q16!  Over the past four quarters, Samsung has spent an incredible $26.6 billion in capital outlays for its semiconductor group. Wow!

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Thirteen Top-15 1Q18 Semi Suppliers Register Double-Digit Gains

 
May 15th, 2018 by IC Insights
Samsung extends its number one ranking and sales lead over Intel to 23%.
IC Insights will release its May Update to the 2018 McClean Report later this month.  This Update includes a discussion of the 1Q18 IC industry market results, an update of the 2018 capital spending forecast by company, and a look at the top-25 1Q18 semiconductor suppliers (the top-15 1Q18 semiconductor suppliers are covered in this research bulletin).

The top-15 worldwide semiconductor (IC and O-S-D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 1Q18 is shown in Figure 1.  It includes eight suppliers headquartered in the U.S., three in Europe, two in South Korea, and one each in Taiwan and Japan.  After announcing in early April 2018 that it had successfully moved its headquarters location from Singapore to the U.S. IC Insights now classifies Broadcom as a U.S. company.

The top-15 ranking includes one pure-play foundry (TSMC) and four fabless companies.  If TSMC were excluded from the top-15 ranking, Taiwan-based fabless supplier MediaTek ($1,696 million) would have been ranked in the 15th position.

IC Insights includes foundries in the top-15 semiconductor supplier ranking since it has always viewed the ranking as a top supplier list, not a marketshare ranking, and realizes that in some cases the semiconductor sales are double counted.  With many of our clients being vendors to the semiconductor industry (supplying equipment, chemicals, gases, etc.), excluding large IC manufacturers like the foundries would leave significant “holes” in the list of top semiconductor suppliers.  As shown in the listing, the foundries and fabless companies are identified.  In the April Update to The McClean Report, marketshare rankings of IC suppliers by product type were presented and foundries were excluded from these listings.
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CMOS Image Sensor Sales Stay on Record-Breaking Pace

 
May 8th, 2018 by IC Insights
Embedded imaging applications in cars, security, machine vision, medical, virtual reality, and other new uses will offset slow growth in camera phones, says new report.

The spread of digital camera applications in vehicles, machine vision, human recognition and security systems, as well as for more powerful camera phones will drive CMOS image sensor sales to an eighth straight record-high level this year with worldwide revenues growing 10% to $13.7 billion, following a 19% surge in 2017, according to IC Insights’ 2018 O-S-D Report—A Market Analysis and Forecast for Optoelectronics, Sensors/Actuators, and Discretes. The new 375-page report shows nothing stopping CMOS image sensors from continuing to set record-high annual sales and unit shipments through 2022 (Figure 1).

Figure 1

TSMC Continues to Dominate the Worldwide Foundry Market

 
April 24th, 2018 by IC Insights
only eight companies held 88% of global foundry market last year.

Research included in the recently released 50-page April Update to the 2018 edition of IC Insights’ McClean Report shows that in 2017, the top eight major foundry leaders (i.e., sales of ≥$1.0 billion) held 88% of the $62.3 billion worldwide foundry market (Figure 1).  The 2017 share was the same level as in 2016 and one point higher than the share the top eight foundries represented in 2015.  With the barriers to entry (e.g., fab costs, access to leading edge technology, etc.) into the foundry business being so high and rising, IC Insights expects this “major” marketshare figure to remain at or near this elevated level in the future.TSMC, by far, was the leader with $32.2 billion in sales last year.  In fact, TSMC’s 2017 sales were over 5x that of second-ranked GlobalFoundries and more than 10x the sales of the fifth-ranked foundry SMIC.


Figure 1

Semiconductor Leaders’ Marketshares Surge Over the Past 10 Years

 
April 11th, 2018 by IC Insights
Top 25 companies held more than three-fourths of worldwide semiconductor market.

Research included in the April Update to the 2018 edition of IC Insights’ McClean Report shows that the world’s leading semiconductor suppliers significantly increased their marketshare over the past decade. The top-5 semiconductor suppliers accounted for 43% of the world’s semiconductor sales in 2017, an increase of 10 percentage points from 10 years earlier (Figure 1).  In total, the 2017 top-50 suppliers represented 88% of the total $444.7 billion worldwide semiconductor market last year, up 12 percentage points from the 76% share the top 50 companies held in 2007.

U.S. Companies Maintain Largest Share of Fabless Company IC Sales

 
March 22nd, 2018 by IC Insights

China-based companies show the largest fabless IC marketshare gain since 2010.

Research included in the March Update to the 2018 edition of IC Insights’ McClean Report shows that fabless IC suppliers accounted for 27% of the world’s IC sales in 2017—an increase from 18% ten years earlier in 2007.  As the name implies, fabless IC companies do not operate an IC fabrication facility of their own.Figure 1 shows the 2017 fabless company share of IC sales by company headquarters location.  At 53%, U.S. companies accounted for the greatest share of fabless IC sales last year, although this share was down from 69% in 2010 (due in part to the acquisition of U.S.-based Broadcom by Singapore-based Avago). Broadcom Limited currently describes itself as a “co-headquartered” company with its headquarters in San Jose, California and Singapore, but it is in the process of establishing its headquarters entirely in the U.S. Once this takes place, the U.S. share of the fabless companies IC sales will again be about 69%.


Figure 1

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IC Insights Raises 2018 IC Market Forecast from 8% to 15%

 
March 14th, 2018 by IC Insights
Increased expectations for the DRAM and NAND flash markets spur upward revision.

IC Insights’ latest market, unit, and average selling price forecasts for 33 major IC product segments for 2018 through 2022 is included in the March Update to the 2018 McClean Report (MR18).  The Update also includes an analysis of the major semiconductor suppliers’ capital spending plans for this year.The biggest adjustments to the original MR18 IC market forecasts were to the memory market; specifically the DRAM and NAND flash segments.  The DRAM and NAND flash memory market growth forecasts for 2018 have been adjusted upward to 37% for DRAM (13% shown in MR18) and 17% for NAND flash (10% shown in MR18).

The big increase in the DRAM market forecast for 2018 is primarily due to a much stronger ASP expected for this year than was originally forecast.  IC Insights now forecasts that the DRAM ASP will register a 36% jump in 2018 as compared to 2017, when the DRAM ASP surged by an amazing 81%.  Moreover, the NAND flash ASP is forecast to increase 10% this year, after jumping by 45% in 2017.  In contrast to strong DRAM and NAND flash ASP increases, 2018 unit volume growth for these product segments is expected to be up only 1% and 6%, respectively.

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Are the Major DRAM Suppliers Stunting DRAM Demand?

 
March 13th, 2018 by IC Insights

Skyrocketing DRAM prices potentially open the door for startup Chinese competitors.

Historically, the DRAM market has been the most volatile of the major IC product segments.  A good example of this was displayed over the past two years when the DRAM market declined 8% in 2016 only to surge by 77% in 2017! The March Update to the 2018 McClean Report (to be released later this month) will fully detail IC Insights’ latest forecast for the 2018 DRAM and total IC markets.In the 34-year period from 1978-2012, the DRAM price-per-bit declined by an average annual rate of 33%. However, from 2012 through 2017, the average DRAM price-per-bit decline was only 3% per year! Moreover, the 47% full-year 2017 jump in the price-per-bit of DRAM was the largest annual increase since 1978, surpassing the previous high of 45% registered 30 years ago in 1988!

In 2017, DRAM bit volume growth was 20%, half the 40% rate of increase registered in 2016.  For 2018, each of the three major DRAM producers (e.g., Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron) have stated that they expect DRAM bit volume growth to once again be about 20%.  However, as shown in Figure 1, monthly year-over-year DRAM bit volume growth averaged only 13% over the nine-month period of May 2017 through January 2018.

Figure 1 also plots the monthly price-per-Gb of DRAM from January of 2017 through January of 2018.  As shown, the DRAM price-per-Gb has been on a steep rise, with prices being 47% higher in January 2018 as compared to one year earlier in January 2017.  There is little doubt that electronic system manufacturers are currently scrambling to adjust and adapt to the skyrocketing cost of memory.
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