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© IC Insights Analysis | May 22, 2018

Samsung extends its sales lead over Intel to 23%

IC Insights has released its top-15 worldwide semiconductor (IC and O-S-D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 1Q18, and it shows a lot of movement. Thirteen of the top-15 semi suppliers register double-digit gains.
The top-15 worldwide semiconductor (IC and O-S-D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 1Q18 includes eight suppliers headquartered in the U.S., three in Europe, two in South Korea, and one each in Taiwan and Japan. After announcing in early April 2018 that it had successfully moved its headquarters location from Singapore to the U.S. IC Insights now classifies Broadcom as a U.S. company.

The top-15 ranking includes one pure-play foundry (TSMC) and four fabless companies. If TSMC were excluded from the top-15 ranking, Taiwan-based fabless supplier MediaTek (USD 1,696 million) would have been ranked in the 15th position.

IC Insights includes foundries in the top-15 semiconductor supplier ranking since it has always viewed the ranking as a top supplier list, not a marketshare ranking, and realizes that in some cases the semiconductor sales are double counted.

In total, the top-15 semiconductor companies’ sales surged by 26% in 1Q18 compared to 1Q17, six points higher than the total worldwide semiconductor industry 1Q18/1Q17 increase of 20%. Amazingly, the Big 3 memory suppliers—Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron, each registered greater than 40% year-over-year growth in 1Q18. Fourteen of the top-15 companies had sales of at least USD 2.0 billion in 1Q18, four companies more than in 1Q17. As shown, it took just over USD 1.8 billion in quarterly sales just to make it into the 1Q18 top-15 semiconductor supplier list.

Intel was the number one ranked semiconductor supplier in 1Q17 but lost its lead spot to Samsung in 2Q17 as well as in the full-year 2017 ranking, a position it had held since 1993. With the continuation of the strong surge in the DRAM and NAND flash markets over the past year, Samsung went from having 5% less total semiconductor sales than Intel in 1Q17 to having 23% more semiconductor sales than Intel in 1Q18.

It is interesting to note that memory devices represented 83% of Samsung’s semiconductor sales in 1Q18, up six points from 77% in 1Q17 and up 12 points from 71% just two years earlier in 1Q16. Moreover, the company’s non-memory sales in 1Q18 were only USD 3,300 million, up 6% from 1Q17’s non-memory sales level of USD 3,125 million.

As would be expected, given the possible acquisitions and mergers that could occur this year (e.g., Qualcomm/NXP), as well as any memory market volatility that may develop, the top-15 ranking is likely to undergo a significant amount of upheaval over the next few years as the semiconductor industry continues along its path to maturity.

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October 15 2018 11:56 pm V11.6.0-1