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IDC’s semicon predictions and top 10 vendors

August 22, 2007

Looks like a season of predictions in semiconductors. Just a few weeks back, I was looking at IC Insights’ top 20 global semicon rankings by sales. And now, we have IDC’s list of the top 10 vendors by revenue, along with predictions of its own. Let’s look at the table.

According to IDC’s table, Intel, Samsung and Texas Instruments held on to the number 1, 2 and 3 positions respectively, with TI showing the highest growth percentage in revenue among the top three leaders.

With the exception of Intel, Renesas, and NXP, all other vendors in IDC’s 2006 top 10 ranking showed positive growth. Hynix grew at an amazing rate of 43 percent over the same period thanks to the company’s growing position in DRAM and NAND.

Now, if we look back at IC Insights’ ranking from a few weeks ago, I find some differences. First, the similarity — The top three — Intel, Samsung and TI, retain their positions in both tables!

However, in IC Insights’ table, ST and Toshiba exchanged the next two positions, as did Hynix and TSMC, while Renesas was at no. 8! Freescale dropped from no. 9 to no. 16, while Sony, NXP and NEC gained one place each. Infineon climbed back up to no. 12, from no. 16, while Qualcomm occupied the no. 13 position, up from no. 17. AMD dropped two positions, from no. 13 to no. 15.

In IDC’s table (by semicon revenue), STMicroelectronics, Toshiba, Renesas, Hynix, AMD, Freescale and NXP occupied positions 4th to 10th, respectively. IDC has made some predictions as well. These include:

Outlook for 2007
* Demand for semiconductors is centered on the big three segments: PC and mobile phone unit volume is steady, led by emerging regions and low-end products. Consumer demand is lackluster, but excess inventory has subsided and IDC expects the design momentum to lead to healthy volume growth during the holiday season.
* DRAM and NAND are experiencing much lower revenue outlook this year following the severe price correction in the first half of 2007.
* Microprocessor market remains flat this year.

Long-term trends
* Emerging regions will boost semiconductor volume growth.
* Multimedia-rich mobile phones continue to drive semiconductor content and demand for processing, memory consumption, and power management.
* Personal computing further migrates toward mobility and low-priced form factors.
* Video processing proliferates across multiple consumer electronic segments, resulting in strong growth for semiconductor suppliers.
* Semiconductor connectivity technologies drive new usage models across device segments.
* Growth in personal content implies increasing need for storage, including NAND.

By the way, IDC’s Worldwide Semiconductor Market Forecaster predicts that the 2007 revenue slowdown in the worldwide semiconductor market will make way to a healthier 2008!

The worldwide semiconductor market will grow at a conservative rate of 4.8 percent in 2007, compared to 8.8 percent in 2006. IDC expects growth to resume at 8.1 percent in 2008 based on the current outlook. Interesting days ahead in semicon!

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