LONDON The latest chip company ranking provided by IC Insights Inc. (Scottsdale, Ariz.) has a topsy-turvy look about it at least it does if, like me, you have been following the fortunes of chip companies for some time. It demonstrates the fact that some regions are struggling and that the U.S. is leading the world's chip companies out of recession.
But it also demonstrates something by way of the latest arrivals on that list, the companies that are not there and the geographical regions not represented. It demonstrates that post-crisis and in a fabless era, scale, and therefore the list itself, is less important than it was.
The list ranks companies by their cumulative sales total for the first three quarters of 2009 and shows firming memory prices have helped lift some companies compared with 2008 B.C. (before crisis). It also indicates how the European region has struggled during 2009.
Those companies that kept faith with memory manufacture have at last started to get some reward. Toshiba climbed two places to third and Hynix climbed one place to ninth.
Reflecting the moderate success of the United States and the PC market, and rockier times in Europe, we can see that AMD and Micron each climbed one place while Infineon, now shorn of its memory operation Qimonda, fell back two places to 13.