Tuesday, 13 April 2021 07:27

Semiconductor revenue grew by 10.4% in pandemic year, Intel stays on top

Semiconductor revenue grew by 10.4% in pandemic year, Intel stays on top Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

Global revenue from the sales of semiconductors in 2020 reached US$466.2 billion, an increase of 10.4% year-on-year, the technology analyst firm Gartner says.

In February, the company had issued figures showing that Apple was the biggest buyer of semiconductor chips last year, with 11.9% of the global market.

“Memory, GPUs and 5G chipsets led semiconductor growth, driven by hyperscale, PC, ultra-mobile and 5G handset end-market demand, while automotive and industrial electronics suffered due to lower spending or a pause in spending owing to COVID-19,” said Andrew Norwood, research vice-president at Gartner.

The company's figures showed that Intel was the top revenue earner, followed by Samsung Electronics, SK hynix and Micron. Intel's revenue increased by 7.4% due to increased sales from its core client and server CPU businesses.

But the top performers among the top 10 vendors were NVIDIA and MediaTek, with the former reporting 45.2% growth, primarily in its gaming-related and data centre segments.

semiconductor revenue 2020 gartner

MediaTek's revenue increased by 38.1% during 2020, a rise that Gartner attributed to the issues that Huawei faced right through the year.

Memory was the second-best performing device category, accounting for 26.7% of sales and showing a 13.5% increase in revenue. “Memory benefitted from the key trend in 2020 — the shift to home working and learning — which fuelled increased server build from hyperscale vendors to satisfy online working and entertainment, as well as a surge in PCs and ultra-mobiles,” said Norwood.

Within the memory segment, NAND flash was the standout performer with 25.2% more revenue, following a shortage in the first half of the year.

“In 2021 both NAND flash and DRAM will be in shortage, sending pricing higher though the year and revenues rocketing by around 25%” said Norwood. “This sets memory-focused Samsung up with a good chance of recapturing the top spot in the semiconductor market from Intel in 2021.”

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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