Home > fabless, fabless companies, global semiconductor industry, IC Insights, ICs > Qualcomm, AMD head top 25 fabless IC suppliers for 2009; Taiwan firms finish strong!

Qualcomm, AMD head top 25 fabless IC suppliers for 2009; Taiwan firms finish strong!

January 19, 2010

Top 25 fabless IC suppliers for 2009. Source: IC Insights

Top 25 fabless IC suppliers for 2009. Source: IC Insights

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?

* nVidia dropped down two places from 3rd in 2008 to 5th in 2009.
* Marvell also dropped down two places from 4th in 2008 to 6th in 2009.
* With AMD coming in 2nd place, Xilinx, LSI, Altera and Avago — all dropped down one place each.
* CSR dropped down three places from 12th in 2008 to 15th in 2009.
* MegaChips dropped down four places from 15th in 2008 to 19th in 2009.
* Conexant had the steepest drop — dropping 11 places down, from 14th in 2008 to 25th in 2009.
* MediaTek moved up one place from 5th in 2008 to 4th in 2009.
* Realtek moved up three places from 16th in 2008 to 13th in 2009.
* Mstar moved up five places from 19th in 2008 to 14th in 2009.
* Richtek had the steepest climb — moving up by 11 places, from 35th in 2008 to 24th in 2009.

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.

True story in stats!
If you look at the percentage change, the true story of 2009 reveals itself! By the way, AMD is excluded here.
First, Taiwan’s MediaTek was by far the most impressive, registering a very strong 22 percent increase in sales to $3.5 billion.

The other impressive performers — all from Taiwan — have been Realtek with 15 percent growth, Mstar with 33 percent growth, and Richtek with 12 percent growth.

From the USA, Atheros and Silicon Labs have registered 6 percent growth during 2009, respectively. Besides these two, Qualcomm registered 2 percent growth.

So, Taiwan firms have indeed finished strongly in 2009, as compared to the others, with four of the six representative firms registering positive growth during 2009.

The rest of the companies in the top 25 list registered negative growth!

So, all of this means that only seven of the top 25 fabless IC suppliers (excluding AMD),  had a good 2009 — or a year of growth, with the remaining 18 having a poor year.

Will we see more of Chinese companies making this list? Probably yes, in the years ahead!

Will we see any Indian company enter this list? Not so soon, perhaps!

According to the GSA Dec. 2008 figures, the distribution of fabless IC companies is: Canada 29, USA 606, Europe 151, Israel 61 and Asia 510 — China 222, Taiwan 196, Korea 47, Japan 16, Taiwan 16, Singapore 7, Malaysia 4, and India 2-28 (two fabless companies and 28 design services/IC providers).

Business continues to grow in India and it has spilled into third party design and IP houses, and some into a few fabless companies, and assembly and test facilities. This means: there’s lots of room for growth!

India has all of the enablers to move up higher!

  1. k.v.n.sai krishna
    December 20, 2010 at 9:01 am


    Very informative post. Does India have mobiles powered by Mediatek chips? We have many domestic players like Lava, Maxx, Spice, Fly, Geepee, Karbon, Videocon, etc., the list is now a days becoming endless.

    Please help me in choosing a high speed mediatek ARM processor powered mobile.


    January 18, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Dear Pradeep,

    I need components suppliers in the USA, a company run by Indians…

  3. ratheesh
    February 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Very informative post. But, why is ARM not in the list? Also, would like to know which are the fabless companies in India?

  1. January 19, 2010 at 9:20 pm
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