© alterfalter dreamstime.com Business | April 12, 2013
4Q reprieve brings little relief to semi makers in 2012
Despite stronger-than-expected growth during the fourth quarter, 2012 was still a miserable year for the semiconductor market and suppliers, with only eight out of the Top 25 chipmakers managing to eke out revenue growth—but nine suffering double-digit declines.
Global semiconductor revenue in 2012 declined by 2.2 percent from 2011, according to final results from the IHS iSuppli Competitive Landscaping Tool (CLT). The preliminary forecast issued by IHS in December projected a drop of 2.3 percent. The modest improvement in the final results came from year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter that came in slightly better than estimated, topping out at a 2.8 percent increase. The preliminary estimate had predicted a 1.9 percent expansion. “The last three months were the only quarter in 2012 that generated a year-over-year increase in semiconductor market revenue, but that growth was too little and too late to salvage a terrible year for chipmakers,” said Dale Ford, senior director at IHS. “Even so, the stronger performance in the fourth quarter represents a positive signal for the semiconductor market, marking the beginning of a new growth cycle in the industry that will be sustained though 2013. IHS predicts global semiconductor revenue will rise by 5.6 percent in 2013, bringing an end to the slump of 2012.” Semiconductor body count Semiconductor industry growth in 2012 slipped from stagnation in the first half to a slump in the second half, widely affecting various players in the market. “The semiconductor downturn had an extremely broad impact, as global economic uncertainty and weakness affected companies across all regions as well as the vast majority of products and application markets,” Ford observed. “Almost every major semiconductor product market suffered a decline in 2012, with double-digit drops in the major memory and discrete categories.” Merger dirge With semiconductor suppliers’ financial condition so weak, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity among the top companies was nearly non-existent in 2012—a stark contrast to the high level of activity seen in 2011. The only major purchase was Samsung’s acquisition of a 100 percent share of the Samsung LED business from Samsung Electro-Mechanics. The results of all other top companies were not meaningfully impacted by M&A activity. Silver linings playbook While there was plenty of bad news in the 2012 semiconductor market, the most dramatic change for any single semiconductor supplier was actually a positive development: Qualcomm’s nearly 30 percent surge in revenue. Qualcomm’s revenue growth of 29.2 percent launched it to the No. 3 rank in the global semiconductor market in 2012, up from No. 6 in 2011. Its share of the semiconductor market grew by a full percentage point to 4.3 percent, up from 3.3 percent. “In two years, Qualcomm has risen from No. 9 to No. 3 in the semiconductor rankings,” Ford noted. “This is the strongest ascension through the top ranks by any semiconductor company in recent history. Qualcomm continues to capitalize on the robust growth of semiconductor sales to the strong market for wireless devices including smartphones and media tablets.” Only two other companies among the Top 25 achieved double-digit growth: LSI, with 22.6 percent; and Sony, with 21.8 percent. These expansions were notable achievements in such a tough market environment. Semiconductor surprises The bright spots in an otherwise dismal year for semiconductor growth were found in CMOS image sensors, logic ASICs, LEDs, display drivers and sensors. Growth in CMOS image sensors hit 38.8 percent, followed by logic ASICs at 19.0 percent. LEDs also expanded in the double digits at 11.9 percent. Meanwhile, growth came in at 6.9 percent for display drivers and at 6.1 percent for sensors and actuators. The only other categories to sustain increases were logic ASSPs and standard logic components. “Robust growth in smartphones and media tablets was key to driving growth opportunities for logic ASICs, CMOS image sensors and sensors essential to enabling new and attractive features in the exciting wireless market. LEDs also have been boosted by their continued adoption in LCD TV backlight and general purpose lighting applications.” For more information, please contact:
Graphcore secures additional $150 million in new capital Bristol-based pure-play machine intelligence AI processor company, Graphcore, has secured an additional USD 150 million in new capital.
Nexperia partners with Ricardo to develop GaN-based EV inverter design Nexperia has entered into a partnership with automotive engineering consulting company, Ricardo, to produce a technology demonstrator for an EV inverter based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology.
TSMC to hire thousands of new employees in 2020 The contract semiconductor manufacturer is reportedly planning to hire more than 4’000 new employees over the course of the year as it plans to develop high-end processes.
Elmos increases semiconductor sales by 7.7% in 2019 According to preliminary, unaudited figures, Elmos Semiconductor increased sales of the semiconductor business by 7.7% to EUR 273.4 million in 2019.
STAr expands via acquisition of Accel-RF Taiwanese company, STAr Technologies, announces that it is acquiring San Diego-based Accel-RF Instruments Corporation.
RoodMicrotec signs sales representative agreement with Cedar RoodMicrotec N.V., has appointed Cedar Technologies as sales representative for the Nordic countries, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.
GlobalFoundries & GlobalWafers sign MoU to increase capacity GlobalFoundries (GF) and GlobalWafers Co., Ltd. (GWC), have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a long-term supply agreement for 300mm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers.
Nichicon inks new sales partnership with ICEL Nichicon (America) Corporation has entered into a new partnership with Italian film capacitor manufacturer, ICEL. Nichicon will represent ICEL through sales and marketing efforts in the Americas.
Significant decline in sales in the German component distribution German component distribution shrinks by 20% in the fourth quarter of 2019, says the FBDi e.V.
Samsung starts mass production at new EUV manufacturing line Samsung Electronics’ new semiconductor fabrication line in Hwaseong, Korea, has begun mass production.
Avery Dennison invests in new factory in Brazil Avery Dennison is gearing up for future growth of RFID technology. Just months after signing a deal to acquire Smartrac's transponder division, the company announces the location of its next RFID manufacturing facility, its first in Brazil and fifth in the world.
ST and TSMC team up on Gallium Nitride-based products STMicroelectronics and TSMC are collaborating to accelerate the development of Gallium Nitride (GaN) process technology and the supply of both discrete and integrated GaN devices to market.
WD to sell ActiveScale business to Quantum Western Digital Technologies, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its ActiveScale business to Quantum Corp., under which Western Digital's full line of ActiveScale products will be sold.
Maxim accelerates in Europe with $25M investment in Ireland Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. is opening a new design centre in Dublin, Ireland. The design centre will focus on product development and conducting R&D in the areas of analog semiconductor design.
Workers to stay home as SK Hynix trainee had contact with virus patient 800 workers of the South Korean chipmaker has quarantined themselves – as a preventive measure – in order to keep the spread of the Coronavirus at bay.
Dialog Semiconductor to acquire Adesto Technologies Dialog Semiconductor has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Adesto Technologies Corporation.
Renesas and Panthronics team up on wireless charging and IoT solutions Renesas and Panthronics AG, a fabless semiconductor company specialising in high performance wireless products, are collaborating to bring solutions to the consumer, industrial, and Internet of Things (IoT) markets.
Murata completes new production facility in Malaysia Murata Electronics (Malaysia) Sdn.Bhd. (Perak, Malaysia), a production subsidiary of Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., recently completed construction of a production facility that was started in October 2018.
AKKA is now a majority owner of Data Respons Following the closing of the voluntary offer period, AKKA holds 72.89% of Data Respons’ share capital.
Sequans and Avnet sign global distribution deal Sequans Communications S.A. and Avnet have entered into a distribution agreement whereby Avnet will promote and sell Sequans’ IoT chips and modules and will exclusively promote and sell Monarch Go, an LTE-M/NB-IoT modem component designed for and certified by Verizon.
Synopsys completes acquisition of certain IP assets from INVECAS Synopsys, Inc. has completed its acquisition of certain IP assets from INVECAS. This acquisition broadens Synopsys' DesignWare Logic Library, Embedded Memory, General Purpose I/O, Analog, and Interface IP portfolio.
Qualcomm: Coronavirus may impact phone industry Chip maker Qualcomm Inc has issued a statement that the coronavirus outbreak in China poses a potential threat to the mobile phone industry.
South Korean supplier to set up manufacturing in Hungary Soulbrain, a South Korean materials company supplying chemicals used in semiconductors, displays and battery cells, is establishing its first European unit in Tatabánya in Hungary.Load more news