Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Semicon rankings 2009: Global revenue dips, but did anyone tell that to Apac suppliers?

Recently, I received a report from iSuppli, which boldly stated that Asia-Pacific semiconductor suppliers defied the downturn in 2009. It said: “combined revenue for semiconductor suppliers headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region actually grew by 2.3 percent in 2009 to reach $44.5 billion, up from $43.5 billion in 2008. In contrast, global semiconductor revenue in 2009 fell by 11.7 percent to $229.9 billion, down from $260.2 billion in 2008.”

Today, there’s a report from Gartner stating that the total worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $228.4 billion in 2009, down $26.8 billion, or 10.5 percent, from 2008.

Which report would you prefer reading first? I’d go with iSuppli’s report!

Final Total Semiconductor Revenues by Region (Revenue Millions of US Dollars)Source: iSuppli, USA

One, it is no surprise that Asia based semicon suppliers have done so well. That’s not all! Only two major semiconductor product segments escaped the downturn of 2009: LEDs and NAND flash memory. Korean and Taiwan based suppliers have led the way.

Let’s look at iSuppli’s list of top 25 suppliers for 2009. First, the movers or suppliers that had positive growth in 2009 or improved their rankings. The movers were:

* Samsung at no. 2 with 3.5 percent growth
* Hynix at no. 7 with 3.7 percent change over 2009; in fact, Hynix improved its position from no. 9 in 2008 to no. 7 in 2009
* Elpida Memory at no. 15 with 9.7 percent change over 2009; Elpida improved its position from 19th in 2008 to 15th in 2009.
* Mediatek at no. 16 with 22.6 percent growth; Mediatek also improved its ranking from no. 24 in in 2008 to no. 16 in 2009 — a sizeable jump up.

Interesting, isn’t it? All of these suppliers are from Asia! Two Korean and one each from Taiwan and Japan, respectively.

Also, if you look at the top 25 suppliers, barring these four, none of the others managed a positive growth or change in 2009.

If you need to look at some other movers in iSuppli’s table, here they are:

* Qualcomm — moved up from 8th in 2008 to 6th in 2009.
* AMD — moved up from 12th in 2008 to 8th in 2009.
* Micron — moved up from 16th in 2008 to 13th in 2009.

Nothing much to speak about the rest! Is that expected? Perhaps, it is! 2009 has been a year best forgotten.

Now. when I look at Gartner’s top 10 semiconductor vendors, it also indicates Samsung and Hynix as the only two suppliers within the top 10 to register some positive growth in 2009.

Top 10 semiconductor vendors by revenue estimates, 2009 (Millions of US Dollars)Source: Gartner, USA

LEDs, NAND beat downturn
Coming back to iSuppli’s report, with LEDs and NAND beating the downturn, it said: “with expanding demand from mobile products such as cell phones, the NAND Flash market grew by more than 15 percent in 2009. LEDs saw a rapid rise in adoption in a wide range of applications, especially in backlighting of LCD-TVs, causing their revenue to rise by more than 5 percent.”

iSuppli even goes on to mention the creditable performance of Seoul Semiconductor in LEDs. Also, it mentions that more than half of Taiwanese suppliers achieved revenue growth in 2009. MediaTek, Nanya Technology and Macronix International led the way for Taiwan with growth of 22.6 percent, 21.2 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively.

So, it seems no one told the Asia Pacific suppliers that there was a downturn going on!

I am hoping that with India’s thrust in LEDs, one Indian supplier will at least make it to the top 250 or 300 list!

Now, I am reminded of a recent report from The Information Network! It said that the chip market growth is likely to slow in the second half of 2010, before picking up again in 2011! That’ll be interesting!

The Information Network has also said that semiconductor revenues will grow 11.2 percent in 2010 to $245 billion, up from $220 billion in 2009. Worth the watch! Am sure that the Asia Pacific suppliers will continue to play a major role in all of this!

Meanwhile, IC Insights has raised its worldwide 2010 IC market growth forecast to +27 percent. It all leads to a very eventful year in semiconductors one can look forward to!

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