April 30, 2012 - BUSINESS WIRE -- Worldwide semiconductor revenues increased more than 3.7% year over year (Y/Y) to $301 billion in 2011, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiconductor Applications Forecaster (SAF). IDC estimated 2010 semiconductor revenues at $295 billion, and 2009 at $225 billion.
“There is a trend underway toward more integration,” said Mali Venkatesan, research manager, Semiconductors at IDC, who led the study and compiled the SAF results. Companies are roadmapping increasingly intelligent devices with high-level operating systems, connectivity, and application processing capabilities. Expect mergers and acquisitions in the semiconductor supplier space, as “large companies with strong cash balances vie for competitive positions,” added Venkatesan.
Smartphones, tablets, e-readers, automotive infotainment, notebook PCs, datacenter servers, and wireless and wired communication infrastructure drove robust semiconductor consumption in 2011.
Microprocessors registered strong growth due to high demand and increased average selling prices (ASPs) for Intel chips. NAND revenues also increased. However, DRAM saw revenue decline more than 25% due to supply glut and falling ASPs. Pure-play DRAM vendor Elpida Memory saw revenue declines of 40% in 2011, ultimately leading to its bankruptcy in 2012. Semiconductor revenues for the computing segment declined year over year due to the DRAM price collapse.
Top 10 chip suppliers:
3 Texas Instruments
5 Renesas Electronics
Together, the top 10 vendors represented 53% of total worldwide semiconductor revenues, up 3% over 2010. The top 25 vendors held 72% of overall semiconductor revenues.
Also see: IC Insights' top 25 chip companies of 2011 IC Insights measured semiconductor growth in 2011 at 2%.
Intel, with total semiconductor revenues of $51.8 billion in 2011, once again led the market. Intel had strong revenue growth and increased its share of the semiconductor market by 3%. Samsung brought in semiconductor revenues of $29 billion.
IDC's SAF tracks more than 100 semiconductor companies. More than 40 of these companies experienced Y/Y revenue growth greater than 5%, while about the same number of companies saw their revenue decline by more than 5%.
Many companies grew revenues substantially over the industry average. For example, Apple enjoyed 140% Y/Y semiconductor revenue growth, followed by Qualcomm, ON Semiconductor, Intel, and Renesas Electronics as well as small- to medium-sized companies Spreadtrum Communications, CoreLogic, Microsemi, Sequans, Icera, MegaChips, Nichia Chemical, Osram, RobertBosch, Skyworks, and Cavium. They all benefited from exposure to the wired and wireless communications, consumer, automotive, and industrial market segments. The consumer segment was essentially flat, while wireless communication and automotive registered 10+% Y/Y semiconductor revenue growth.
The Asia/Pacific and Americas regions grew above the industry average, while Japan and Europe showed negative growth.
A number of mergers and acquisitions came to fruition in 2011, most notably Qualcomm and Atheros, Texas Instruments and National Semiconductor, SMSC and Conexant, Broadcom and NetLogic, CSR and Zoran, and Microsemi and Zarlink. This trend is expected to continue in 2012.
The chip industry weathered macroeconomic uncertainties in the US and Europe, the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, China's slow down in H2, and floods in Thailand in 2011. “The current semiconductor cycle, which started mid-2011, will bottom out in the second quarter of 2012 and fab utilization rates will pick up and accelerate in the second half of this year. Overall, IDC expects 2012 semiconductor revenue growth to be in the 6-7% range," said Venkatesan.
IDC's Worldwide Semiconductor Applications Forecaster database contains revenue data collected from more than 100 semiconductor companies and forecasts the markets to 2016. Revenue for over 12 semiconductor device areas, 4 geographic regions, 6 major vertical markets, and over 90 system devices markets are also part of the SAF coverage. International Data Corporation (IDC) provides market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. Learn more at www.idc.com.