Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Qualcomm’

Top 20 semicon rankings Q2-09 — TSMC climbs up, AMD slips down!

July 31, 2009 Comments off

Very interesting, isn’t it? And I am not surprised! TSMC deserves to move up the top 20 semiconductor companies rankings!! It seems that AMD especially needs to really get its act together.

First, to the rankings. Recently, IC Insights released the list of the top 20 semiconductor sales leaders during Q2-09.Source: IC Insights

In this list, there are four fabless semiconductor companies — Qualcomm, Broadcom, MediaTek and Nvidia in the top 20, and one foundry — TSMC, perhaps, emphasizing the growing influence of TSMC as well as the fabless semiconductor companies.

AMD slips! Again?
I had written a couple of posts some time back on AMD and Intel, where the former had commented on the EC ruling on Intel, and also how both were at each other’s throats, and had asked the question — how will all of this help the market?

Well, one hopes that AMD will come back very much stronger in the next quarter, despite its uninspiring guidance for 3Q09, saying that it expects its sales to be “up slightly” from 2Q09.

TSMC, Hynix, MediaTek shine
Coming back to the table, the clear movers are TSMC, and no surprises there, as well as Hynix and MediaTek. In fact, with a little better Q3 performance, TSMC could well move up to the third position, overtaking both Texas Instruments and Toshiba.

Look at the last column — the 2Q09/1Q09 percentage change — TSMC has grown by a whopping 93 percent! One other thing! TSMC is reportedly eyeing business opportunities in solar photovoltaics and LEDs in a bid to diversify its revenue channels. Should these happen, expect TSMC to move up higher!

The closest to TSMC in terms of growth are Hynix at 40 percent and Qualcomm at 36 percent, respectively. MediaTek, another impressive mover, grew by 20 percent. Of course, there is Samsung as well, with 29 percent growth.

ST, Micron, Nvidia and NXP have done well too! According to IC Insights, Nvidia replaced Fujitsu in the Q2-09 top 20 rankings. And that brings us to the shakers or those who fared poorly.

Fujitsu, AMD, Freescale slide!
I’ve already touched upon AMD. Fujitsu cited flash memory and automotive device sales to have suffered immensely this quarter. However, it hopes Q3 will be better and said that customer demand was picking up. So, it could well be back in the Top 20 during Q3.

Yet another slip was in store for Freescale. It slipped from 16th position in 2008 to 18th position during Q1-09, and slid further to 20th position in Q2-09. Perhaps, overdependance on automotives has been its undoing.

An interesting statistic from IC Insights — Fujitsu, with -9 percent and Freescale, with -2 percent growth, were the only two top-20 companies from Q1-09 to register a 2Q09/1Q09 sales decline!

Wonderful industry guidance
It is heartening to see 19 of the 20 companies registering positive growth this quarter. It won’t be improper here to commend IC Insights on its wonderful industry guidance!

In an IC Insights study from late December 2008, it was very vocal in advising firms to adopt a quarterly outlook! It also forecast a significant rebound in the IC market beginning in the third quarter of the year!

IC Insights also stood out by pointing out in early July that H2-09 is likely to usher in strong seasonal strength for electronic system sales, a period of IC inventory replenishment, which began in 2Q09, and positive worldwide GDP growth.

IC Insights had marked 4Q08 as the beginning of the downturn/collapse and Q1-09 as the bottom of the cycle. This quarter (Q2) has largely been a replenishment phase for the inventories. Going by that count, Q3 could well see a true seasonal increase in demand. IC Insights also said that during Q4-09, market growth will mirror the health of the worldwide economy and electronic system sales.

There is light, after all, at the end of the tunnel! Wonder why are the industry folks continue to tell each other — we still aren’t having a good time! Maybe, it is time for them to shed their pessimism and from holding back on investments, and move on to show steely optimism, and indulge in really aggressive buying and selling! After all, work and progress will happen ONLY if you work!!

Global semicon could decline by over 5pc in 2009!

December 4, 2008 Comments off

The year 2008 will soon be relegated to history, albeit with the dubious distinction of handing out an extremely unforgettable year for the memory chip makers!

This trend was starkly evident, as a major downturn in this segment caused revenue to fall for nearly all suppliers and contributed to negative results for the overall semiconductor industry, according to recently released preliminary market-share figures from iSuppli Corp. (The memory market is being dealt with in the next blog!)

The key question remains as to whether the semicon industry has really lost the money-making ability? According to Dale Ford, senior vice president, market intelligence services, for iSuppli, the semiconductor industry goes through cycles of revenue growth and profitability. He says, “It would not be correct to extrapolate the current challenges of the semiconductor industry and say that the industry has “lost its money-making ability.”

iSuppli expects that the the industry will experience some level of restructuring during this downturn that will help it emerge to renewed revenue growth and profitability.

Revenue to drop 2 percent
Given the current scenario, it is taken for granted now that the global semicon revenue will likely decline in 2008. Ford says: “iSuppli predicts that the semiconductor industry will decline by 2 percent in 2008. However, it is possible for the decline to worsen as more companies revise down their fourth quarter guidance.”

The primary reasons for the decline are the over supply of memory ICs and resulting steep price declines and the global financial/economic crisis that has impacted consumer spending and the production of electronic equipment.

Fabless flies high
Coming down to the top 20 semiconductor suppliers (see table above), it would be interesting to see how the fabless companies have fared overall.

Ford says that Qualcomm, Broadcom and nVidia are predicted to be the only fabless companies in the top 20 semiconductor suppliers in 2008.

“Qualcomm and Broadcom are expected to see their revenues grow by 19.6 percent and 26.4 percent, respectively. Only nVidia is expected to see a decline in revenues with a projected contraction of 0.5 percent,” he adds.

There are some non-memory players in the top 20, who have registered declines. While it is not possible to comment on every single company, Ford mentions that the declining revenues are due to a variety of factors, including divestiture of business units, declining markets, and lost market share.

Fab spend and outlook 2009
Critically, there is a need to also see how the fab spends are looking like in 2009.

According to SEMI’s recent World Fab Forecast, spending on fab construction projects in 2008 is likely to decline by 41 percent year-over-year (YoY), as projects are pushed out or put on hold. In 2009, the Americas and Japan are expected to be the only regions with positive growth rates for construction spending.

Ford adds, “Currently, we see fab spending declining significantly in 2009.”

Overall, what’s the outlook going to be like for the global semiconductor industry in 2009! Ford concludes: “We have not released a formal forecast to the press at this time. However, I will say that we expect the semiconductor market to decline by more than 5 percent in 2009.”

Top 20 global semicon companies — DRAM, Flash suppliers drop out

May 16, 2008 Comments off

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?

Movers and shakers in semicon; new fabs in Asia

September 30, 2007 Comments off

While speaking with the Fabless Semiconductor Association, USA, some time back, I quizzed them on the major movers and shakers (or slips) among the top 25, and what are the reasons for those.

Qualcomm has broken into the top 10 for the first time. It’s the first time in the history of semiconductors that such a thing has happened, and is probably a sign of the times ahead.

One reason for this growth has been — Increasing foundry orders. A Digitimes article reported that Qualcomm will increase orders by 15-20 percent in the September quarter to meet projections of strong 3G handset sales. According to the article, sources at Qualcomm suggest that wafer starts per month in the December quarter could surpass 30,000.

There have also been reports of strong June quarter for 2007. Qualcomm’s $2.32 billion in June quarter sales represents 19 percent year-on-year growth. Record chipset volumes of 65 million were at the high end of 62 million-65 million guidance. UMTS chipset shipments were noted to have increased by 127 percent year-over-year and 79 percent quarter-over-quarter, with the quarter-over-quarter growth rate roughly 4 times the market growth rate.

Finally, chipset ASPs increased by 2 percent year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter, and are likely to remain stable.

Situation in Asia
FSA quoted the Strategic Marketing Association’s Quarterly Spot Report – July. While there have been announcements in India by SemIndia, HSMC, Moser Baer, etc., for fabs, there is every likelihood of another fab in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. The technology ministry announced plans for a yet to be named fab at the India Design Center. Another possibility is a fab in Kochi, South India, by the NeST Group.

In China, Strategic Marketing Association expects that eight new fabs will start construction this year. Two fabs have started construction in the first quarter (Hua Hong NEC and ProMOS), and two more have started construction in the second quarter.

Grace Semiconductor, now headed by former Infineon boss, Dr. Ulrich Schumacher, which opened its first fab in 2003, began moving equipment into the shell of Fab 2, which was built at the same time as Fab 1. The company is installing used equipment and plans to begin production in Q1 0f 2008. The company also plans to begin building a 300mm fab, perhaps as early as next year, although financing is said to remain an issue for such a project.

Also in China, IC Spectrum began building a 200mm fab in Kunshan, about 45km east of Shanghai. Using 0.35micron technology from Toshiba, the new foundry expects to begin volume production by the first quarter of 2009.

TSMC began production in the second phase of its 300mm Fab 14 in Tainan in the south of Taiwan. This $2.4 billion fab will start production at 65nm and move to 45nm in 2008. There are also plans for a 300mm Fab 14, Phase 3 at the same location.

Looking at capex
In 2007, companies with capital spending budgets of $1 billion or more (the Billion Dollar Club) will account for 77 percent of all capital spending. Most of these companies (13 out of 20) are memory companies. Nine of these companies are from Asia Pacific (South Korea, China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia). Together, they plan to spend $23 billion this year, more than half of what the Billion Dollar Club has budgeted for capital spending.

Shifts in top 20 global semicon rankings

July 30, 2007 Comments off

If the recent preliminary results released by IC Insights is anything to go by, there have been some movements among the top 20 semiconductor companies of the world during H1-2007. This is best illustrated by the table below.

While the top three — Intel, Samsung and TI, retain their positions, ST and Toshiba have exchanged the next two positions, as have Hynix and TSMC, while Renesas remains at no. 8!

Freescale has taken a big drop from no. 9 to no. 16, while Sony, NXP and NEC gained one place each. Infineon has climbed back up to no. 12, from no. 16, while Qualcomm occupies the no. 13 position, up from no. 17. AMD dropped two positions, from no. 13 to no. 15.

Will the semicon industry see a tight year ahead? As per reports, IC Insights said that there should be a “noticeable seasonal rebound” in overall IC demand beginning in September 2007, which may cause “significant changes” in the top 20 semiconductor ranking in the second half of 2007. Wait and watch this space!

%d bloggers like this: