The Worldwide Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) database is very special and unique to the IC industry in many ways.
It has a long history dating all the way back to 1976. It includes detailed market data compiled from company statistics submitted anonymously by most of the major U.S., Japanese, South Korean, European and Taiwanese IC suppliers. Moreover, detailed global IC industry market data by product type, region, unit volume, average selling price (ASP), memory bit volume, etc. is released on a monthly basis with only about a one month lag time. Few, if any, other major industries can claim to have such an in-depth, independent monthly report available on the health and market trends of such an important worldwide industry.
Figure 1 shows that Intel and AMD were the largest and sixth-largest IC producers, respectively, among U.S- headquartered firms in 2011.
These two companies represented 40 percent of all U.S.-headquartered suppliers’ IC sales in 2011.
According to WSTS, the Americas (primarily composed of the U.S.) IC market was worth $49.7 billion in 2011. Intel and AMD’s combined 2011 IC sales to the Americas market were about $6.4 billion, which represented 13 percent of the total Americas’ IC market last year.
Intel and AMD were ranked No. 1 and No. 12, respectively, in worldwide IC sales in 2011. The combined IC sales of the two firms ($56.3 billion) represented 23 percent of total worldwide IC sales ($247.1 billion according to WSTS) last year.
Given the sheer size of Intel and AMD, their significant share of the worldwide IC market (Figure 2), and their dominance of the microprocessor (MPU) market (with a combined share of more than 90 percent), there is no doubt that their withdrawal from reporting into WSTS will have a negative effect on the WSTS database.
A strong WSTS database benefits Intel and AMD in numerous ways. As both of these companies branch out from the MPU business into product areas such as graphics and application processors for smartphones and tablet PCs, the WSTS is their best source for accurate monthly data on these markets.
Intel is also a player in the flash memory market. This is another product segment in which accurate detailed monthly information such as bit volume, unit shipments by density, market by region, etc., is only available from WSTS. There is no alternative. Detailed monthly market information on these product segments, as put forth by WSTS, is not available from any other source, at least not one that is receiving monthly detailed input from the actual companies involved in supplying the market.
Intel and AMD should also realize that their supply chains, including raw wafer manufacturers (e.g., SEH and Wacker), chemical and gas suppliers (e.g., Dow Chemical and Air Products), semiconductor equipment companies (e.g., Applied Materials and ASML), contract packaging houses (e.g., Amkor and SPIL), and software suppliers (e.g., Mentor Graphics, Synopsys and Cadence), rely in some part on WSTS data to help them plan and budget their businesses.
A supply chain that does not have good insight and transparency into its markets is a weakened supply chain, which is detrimental to Intel, AMD, and the entire worldwide IC industry.
Well, if it turns out poorly for Intel and AMD, maybe they'll re-join. It seems the only people concerned about these databases are the journalists who report on them and those who manage the databases. I don't think Intel and AMD are run by stupid people and they are very unlikely to provide you their reasons for leaving. This ain't the end of the world.
@ Work to Ride.... no it certainly is not the end of the world, but those company's participation does serve a useful purpose mostly by saving time tracking down the data or estimating for ourselves by providing quick snapshots of the silicon landscape (or perhaps silicon river is better term). My only gripe is that historically even with full participation, the information has not always been the most timely or as up-to-date as would be preferred. Often, but not always, one could learn more and quicker by following articles in WSJ.