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May 27, 2010


Major Shakeup in Top 20 Semiconductor Ranking

10 of the top 20 companies changed positions in 1Q10, Elpida joins top 10

As discussed in detail in the May Update to The McClean Report, IC Insights has upgraded its forecasts for worldwide GDP, PC, and cellphone sales for 2010. As a result, the global economic recovery and subsequent rebound in the electronic system and semiconductor markets has caused a significant re-alignment in the top 20 semiconductor company ranking (Figure 1).

The surging market for both NAND flash and DRAM is responsible for much of the shakeup in the ranking. As shown, Toshiba, Hynix, Micron, and Elpida all moved up at least one position in the top 20 list (Elpida jumped six spots). Although not moving up in the ranking, Samsung is on pace for at least a $30 billion semiconductor sales year in 2010! Moreover, IC Insights believes that Samsung could register as much as a 50% surge in sales in 2010.

The recent growth spurt by Samsung in the semiconductor market has spurred the company to plan a record amount of capital spending in 2010 for its semiconductor division ($9.6B). At this level of spending, Samsung would be responsible for 22% of the world’s total semiconductor capital expenditures and would spend about as much as Intel and TSMC combined!

Although the Renesas and NEC merger (that created Renesas Electronics Corp.) was only official on April 1, 2010, in order to make future comparisons practical, the ranking in Figure 1 combines the two companies’ semiconductor sales for calendar year 2009 and 1Q10. As shown, the combination of the two companies would have served to make the new entity the fourth-largest semiconductor company in the world in 2009. In 1Q10, the combined sales of the companies would have made it the sixth-largest company. However, given the strong performance expected by TSMC in the foundry market this year, and the strong memory-driven growth expected to be posted by Hynix, IC Insights believes that Renesas Electronics will likely drop to the seventh position for all of 2010.

Some notable companies that fell in the ranking include Qualcomm, which slid from 8th to 12th, and Fujitsu, which fell from being ranked 19th in 2009 to 21st in 1Q10. The first quarter of the year is always a seasonally slow one for the cellphone industry and IC Insights expects a significant rebound by Qualcomm in the second half of this year. Fujitsu is undergoing a re-organization and streamlining of its semiconductor division and will likely stay just out of reach of the top 20 companies for the near future.

Figure 1

Report Source

The McClean Report 2010 Edition

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