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Wednesday, 02 May 2012 00:30

Semiconductor market defies economic problems

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The worldwide semiconductor industry weathered economic uncertainties and natural disasters last year to post revenues of $301 billion, with Intel continuing its market leadership with revenues of $51.8 billion.

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In its latest report, market analysts' IDC say that 'robust consumption' revenue growth of 3.7 percent year over year in 2011 was driven by device applications such as smartphones, media tablets and e-readers, automotive infotainment, notebook PCs, datacentre servers, and wireless and wired communication infrastructure. That growth, according to IDC, was achieved despite macroeconomic uncertainties in the US and Europe, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, China's slow down in the second half of the year, and floods in Thailand.

According to IDC, Intel registered 'impressive revenue growth' in 2011, increasing its share of the semiconductor market by three percent, while Samsung was the number two vendor overall with revenues of $29 billion.

IDC says that Texas Instruments, Toshiba, and Renesas Electronics rounded out the top five vendors, followed by Qualcomm, Hynix, STMicro, Micron, and Broadcom. Together, the top 10 vendors represented 53 percent of total worldwide semiconductor revenues, an increase of three percent over 2010.

According to IDC's research manager, semiconductors, Mali Venkatesan, many companies grew revenues substantially over the industry average, including Apple which enjoyed an 'impressive' 140 percent year-over-year semiconductor revenue growth, while other large companies with strong year-over-year growth included Qualcomm, ON Semiconductor, Intel, and Renesas Electronics.  

'Both Asia/Pacific and Americas showed growth above the industry average, while Japan and Europe showed negative growth. Among the market segments, semiconductor revenues for the computing segment declined year over year due to the DRAM price collapse. The consumer segment was essentially flat, while wireless communication and automotive segments registered over 10% year-over-year semiconductor revenue growth.'

According to Venkatesan there is a trend underway toward 'more integration, as companies try to position themselves for the next phase of growth and as device applications become more and more intelligent and move toward supporting high-level operating systems, connectivity, and application processing capabilities.'  'In addition, as large companies with strong cash balances vie for competitive positions, mergers and acquisitions will be a key theme," Venkatesan predicts.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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