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© Infineon (For illustration purposes only!) Electronics Production | November 07, 2011

Extreme results expected in 2011

Qualcomm and Elpida forecast to represent a 72-point swing in 2011 growth rates, writes IC Insights.
Although low single-digit growth is forecast for the total semiconductor market this year, there are several companies expected to register results that are quite different. Qualcomm, spurred by a smartphone market that is forecast to jump 73% this year, is expected to log a strong 33% increase in semiconductor sales in 2011! However, at the other end of the spectrum is Elpida, which is forecast to register a sales decline of 39% (a decline that is likely to be close to 50% when expressed in yen)!

In total, the top 20 semiconductor suppliers are forecast to display a 6% increase in 2011 sales as compared to 2010. This growth rate is four points greater than the 2% increase forecast for the total worldwide 2011/2010 semiconductor market.

Intel is expected to remain firmly in control of the number one spot in the ranking this year. In fact, Intel, helped by its acquisition of Infineon's wireless IC business, is forecast to extend its lead over second-ranked Samsung by registering a 47% higher semiconductor sales level than Samsung in 2011 as compared to a 24% margin in 2010.

Healthy growth in its graphics and communications processor business is forecast to help Nvidia jump five positions and move the company to 18th place in the top 20 ranking. In contrast, Elpida is expected to fall six spots in the ranking this year (from 13th to 19th) as the collapse in the DRAM market is having a pronounced negative effect on the company (Elpida lost $629 million in 3Q11).

Unlike last year, the memory companies are not expected to secure the top growth rate positions in the ranking in 2011. In fact, as shown below, the top seven 2011/2010 semiconductor sales growth rate increases are forecast to be logged by non-memory suppliers. As shown, since all of the figures are converted to U.S. dollars, the weak U.S. dollar in 2011 is expected to spur double-digit growth at Sony, Fujitsu, and TSMC.

1) Qualcomm; 33% jump due to surging smartphone IC sales

2) Infineon; 30% growth from continuing operations (24% using 2010 exchange rates)

3) Intel; 26% increase spurred in part by its acquisition of Infineon's wireless business

4) Sony; 16% growth (6% using 2010 exchange rates)

5) Fujitsu; 11% increase (1% using 2010 exchange rates)

6) Nvidia; 11% growth due to healthy sales of graphics and communications processors

7) TSMC; 10% (2% using 2010 exchange rates)

Of the big five memory suppliers in the top 20 ranking (i.e., Samsung, Toshiba, Hynix, Micron, and Elpida), only Samsung and Toshiba are expected to register 2011/2010 growth. In total, 11 of the top 20 suppliers are forecast to outperform the total worldwide semiconductor industry 2011/2010 growth rate of 2% (including Infineon's 30% sales growth from continuing operations).
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Image source: © IC Insight

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