I’ve just received this report from iSuppli, which says that the global semiconductor revenue expands by record margin in 2010 — to $304 billion in 2010, up from $229.5 billion in 2009. This represents growth of 32.5 percent for the year! Fantastic!!
This growth is said to be courtesy of a boom in DRAM and NAND sales benefiting memory suppliers. One hopes the semicon industry turns in an equally better performance in 2011. That’d be just great!
In the meantime, I’d like to share with you iSuppli’s preliminary ranking of the Top 20 semiconductor suppliers in 2010.
As per iSuppli, Marvell is likely to achieve organic revenue growth of more than 43 percent and jump five places to the No. 18 spot in 2010.
Qualcomm and AMD, and Sony have experienced revenue growth notably less than the overall market. Therefore, they will likely slip three to four positions in the rankings in 2010.
After a number of years of dramatically outperforming the market, Taiwan’s MediaTek fell back to earth in 2010, as it will barely achieve revenue growth at 1.2 percent, the only company among the Top 20 to not achieve a double-digit increase. The company is likely to slip to No. 19 in the rankings, down from No. 16 place in 2009.
Only one company is at risk of dropping out of the list of 20. iSuppli projects that nVidia will retain its ranking at No. 20. However, ROHM Semiconductor is competing for the final slot among the Top 20 and the final outcome should be very close.
I hope to get into a conversation with iSuppli regarding the top 20 semicon suppliers.
Increasing complexity means that the OEMs are now relying heavily on the IC suppliers for system-level support and software development. Also, connected intelligence, which is really blurring the traditional market boundaries. This requires system-level expertise combined with the knowledge of multiple market technologies.
There is also a great need for innovation teamwork, which would require focusing on the entire product value chain — starting from definition and design on to software and support. Delivering ‘real solutions’ would involve wrapping the ecosystems around OEM application expertise to create value through differentiation.
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!
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:
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:
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.
LEDs, NAND beat downturn
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. Read more…
So, IC Insights has revealed the top 25 list of fabless IC suppliers for 2009! No surprises, Qualcomm still leads!
However, AMD is the surprise runner-up, for now. The reason being: AMD became a fabless company by including its Dresden, Germany fabs as part of GlobalFoundries spin-off. IC Insights included all of AMD’s sales for 2009 in its study.
Some other interesting points
First, as many as nine fabless IC companies — all of the top nine companies — had sales of $1 billion or more in 2009. These are: Qualcomm, AMD, Broadcom, MediaTek, nVidia, Marvell, Xilinx, LSI Corp., Altera and Avago! And you still believe there was a recession in H1-09?
Movers and shakers
So, who are the leading top movers and shakers?
The list comprises fabless IC suppliers from the USA — which has 17 representations, including nine suppliers in the top 10! Taiwan has six representations, with one — MediaTek — figuring among the top 10, well, top five actually! Europe and Japan have one representation each — in CSR and MegaChips. Read more…
As per iSuppli, Samsung has been the most notable performer among the top 10 suppliers to achieve growth — although a mere 1.3 percent — during 2009.
As you can see from the table here, barring Samsung, all the remaining top 10 companies registered negative growth, with Qualcomm is just about flat. However, MediaTek has been a grand performer in the top 20 list, growing by 21.7 percent.
“The year 2009 will be remembered as one of the most dismal years in the history of the global semiconductor business, with a plunge of more than $32 billion in revenue compared to 2008,” said Dale Ford, senior vice president at iSuppli Corp. “However, iSuppli’s preliminary estimate of a 12.4 percent decline is far better than expectations from early 2009 of a more than 20 percent plunge.
Among the movers and shakers. AMD has moved up from 12th place in 2008 to 9th place in 2009. Elpida moved up from 19th position t0 the 16th position. Qualcomm also moved up two places — from 8th to 6th, as did Hynix — from 9th to 7th.
Among the top 10, Renesas dropped two places — from 6th to 8th, and Sony dropped three places — from 7th to 10th. Infineon — moved down to 12th place, post the spinoff of Lantiq.
Among the bottom 10, Freescale had the biggest drop — from 13th place t0 17th place, while NXP dropped from 17th place to 19th place. Panasonic dropped from 15th place to 18th place.
This year is best forgotten for the global semiconductor industry. The performance during Q2 and Q3, and a further postive enough performance likely for Q3 has just about made up for what has been a really bad year.
DRAMeXchange has recently released its rankings for the top NAND suppliers of the world. I am producing bits of that report here, for the benefit of those interested in NAND and the memory market.
Be aware, that this segment has been hit particularly bad. We have heard of Qimonda’s problems, as well as Spansion’s. They are trying to battle it out, gamefully, and best wishes to them.
The global semiconductor industry needs the flash memory segment to recover, and fast, to bring the health back in the industry, as well as the missing buzz!
Getting back to DRAMeXchange’s report, NAND Flash brand companies released their total revenue of 2008. Samsung’s annual revenue was $4.614 billion and it gained 40.4 percent market share, to maintain the number 1. position.
Hynix’s annual revenue was $1.727 billion, with 15.1 percent market share. Though it stayed at the number 3 position, its market share declined 4.1 percent, compared to 2007.
Micron’s annual revenue was $897 million. It had a 7.9 percent market share, which enjoyed a 1.8 percent increase when compared to 2007. Micron was number 4. Intel was at number 5. Its annual revenue was $660 million with 5.8 percent market share, which increased 2.1 percent, compared to 2007.
Numonyx’s (STMicro) 2008 annual revenue was $295 million. It was at number 6 position with the market share of 2.6 percent, which remained the same as 2007.
According to DRAMeXchange, the 4Q08 total revenue of worldwide NAND Flash brand companies was $2.227 billion, which dropped 19.3 percent from $2.761 billion in 3Q08. Under the continuing impact of global recession and the influence of declining worldwide consumer confidence, the 4Q08 revenue of NAND Flash brand companies showed signs of decreasing.
The overall demand and expenditure for consumer electronics declined. Although bit growth in 4Q08 increased 18 percent QoQ, the overall average selling price (ASP) dropped 32 percent QoQ, says DRAMeXchange. A big thanks to DRAMeXchange.
IC Insights recently published the May update to The McClean Report, featuring the Top 20 global semiconductor companies. Not surprisingly, there have been some significant movers and shakers. The most telling — quite a few of the major DRAM and Flash suppliers have dropped out of the Top 20 list!
First the movers! Fabless supplier Qualcomm jumped up four spots, ranking as the 10th largest semiconductor supplier in Q1-08. Next, Broadcom, the third largest fabless supplier, also moved up four positions, up to the 20th position. Panasonic (earlier, Matsushita), moved up to the 19th position, while NEC of Japan moved up to the 13th position.
TSMC, the leading foundry, moved up one position, registering the highest — 44 percent — year-over-year Q1-08 growth rate, besides being ranked 5th. Nvidia, the second largest fabless supplier, was another company registering a high YoY growth rate of 37 percent, and moved into the 18th position. Some others like Infineon, Sony and Renesas also climbed a place higher each, respectively. The top four retained their positions — Intel, Samsung, TI and Toshiba.
And now, the shakers! The volatile DRAM and Flash markets have ensured the exit of several well known names such as Qimonda, Elpida, Spansion, Powerchip, Nanya, etc., from the list of the top 20 global semiconductor companies, at least for now.
Among the others in the list, the biggest drops were registered by NXP, which dropped to 14th from 11th last year, and AMD, which dropped two places, from 10th to 12th. Two memory suppliers — Hynix and Micron — also slipped two places, to 9th and 15th places, respectively. STMicroelectronics also slipped from 5th to 6th. IBM too slipped out of the top 20 list.
The top 20 global semiconductor firms comprises of eight US companies (including three fabless suppliers), six Japanese, three European, two South Korean, and one Taiwanese foundry (TSMC). Also, looking at the realities of the foundry market, TSMC’s lead is now unassailable. If TSMC was an IDM, it would be No. 2, challenging Intel and passing Samsung, said one analyst, recently, a thought shared by many.
IC Insights has reported that since the Euro and the Yen are strong against the dollar, this effect will impact global semiconductor market figures when reported in US dollars this year.
There are some other things to watch out for. Following a miserable 2007, the global DRAM module market is likely to rebound gradually in 2008 due to the projected recovery in the overall memory industry, according to an iSuppli report. That remains to be seen.
Some new DRAM camps — such as Elpida-Qimonda, and Micron-Nanya — have been formed. It will be interesting to see how these perform, as will be the performance of ST-backed Numonyx.
Further, the oversupply of NAND Flash worsened in Q1-08, impacted by the effect of the US sub-prime mortgage loan and a slow season, according to DRAMeXchange. The NAND Flash ASP fell about 35 percent compared to Q4-07. Although the overall bit shipment grew about 30 percent compared to Q4-07, the total Q1-08 sales of branded NAND Flash makers fell 15.8 percent QoQ to US$3.24bn. Will the NAND Flash market recover and by when?
The number of MEMS and sensors going into mobile, consumer and gaming applications is expected to continue to skyrocket. As a result, OSAT and Wafer foundry players are getting more and more interest in MEMS module packaging, as volume and complexity of MEMS SiP modules is increasing dramatically, said Dr. Eric Mourier, Yole Developpement.
It implies that IDMs needs to find second source partnersand qualify some OSATs in order to secure their supply chain. Also, standardization(coming from both foundries, OSAT, WLP houses or substrate suppliers) is critical and necessary to implement in order to keep the packaging, assembly, and test cost of MEMS modules under control. There are many different players with different designs, and it’s not likely we’ll see one solution adopted by all the players.
As for wafer-level packaging (WLP) for LEDs, WLP has not been strongly deployed in the LED industry due to associated technical challenges. In the short-term, there is ESD integration in Si substrate. In the long-term, LED drivers could be integrated at the package level for Intelligent lighting. Ultimately, there are wafer-to-wafer manufacturing schemes for certain packaget types.
Real production of HB-LEDs with a mixed approach of WLP+through silicon vias (TSV) is just starting. There are some Taiwanese players such as TSMC, Xintec, Visera, Touch MicroTech and Sibdi, and South Korea-based LG Innotek. Additional players in the semiconductor and MEMS industry are seeking to enter the field.
SEMI, USA recently hosted the seminar on ‘Convergence of PV Materials, Test and Reliability: What Really Matters?
Reliability in growing PV industry
Speaking on the importance of reliability to a growing PV industry, Sarah Kurtz, principal scientist, Reliability group manager, NREL, said that confidence in long-term performance is a necessity in the PV industry. Current failure rates are low. There is need to demonstrate confidence so that failure rates will stay low. There has been exponential growth of the PV industry so far. PV is a significant fraction of new installations. It now represents a significant fraction of new electricity generating installations of all kinds.
How does one predict the lifetime of PV modules? There has been a qualification test evolution for JPL block buys. Most studies of c-Si modules show module failures are small. Internal electrical current issues often dominate.
The vast majority of installations show very low PV module failure rates (often less than 0.1 percent). There has been evidence that PV is low risk compared to other investments. To sustain the current installation rate, we need to demonstrate confidence that justifies the annual investment of $100 million or so.
Critical factors in economic viability of PV
DuPont has broad capabilities under one roof. It offers materials, solar cell design, and processes integrated with panel engineering. Speaking about Critical factors in economic viability of PV – materials matter – Conrad Burke, global marketing director, DuPont PV Solutions, said that material suppliers have a distinct advantage to view trends. The industry can expect consolidation among large PV module producers and large materials suppliers.
There is an increasing dependence on materials suppliers for processes, tech support and roadmap. There is renewed attention to long-term reliability and quality of materials in PV products.
There is a race for survival among panel producers. There are dropping prices for solar panels, and quality is getting compromised. There are reduced incentives in established markets. The market will continue to grow. Key factors that determine investment return for PV include lifetime, efficiency and cost.
When materials fail, the consequences are dire. There are failures such as encapsulant discoloration, backsheet failure, glass delamination, etc. Average defect rates in new-build modules has been increasing. Significant number of PV installations do not deliver the projected RoI. The system lifetime is as important as cost and incentives.
Solar cell power continues to improve. There have been improvements from metal pastes and processes. Performance loss impacts the RoI. The US Department of Energy hired JPL to develop 30-year PV modules. Recent cost pressures have led to the dramatic changes in module materials and a lack of transparency.
Analyzing modules from the recent service environments show performance issues. Certification does not mitigate risk. Tests do not predict the actual field performance. He showed tier-1 solar panel manufacturing problems from China, Japan and the USA. Backsheet is critical to protect solar panels. Few materials have lengthy field experience. We will continue to see drop in prices for solar panels and opening of new markets. Focus for PV module makers will remain efficiency, etc.