SAN FRANCISCO If the semiconductor industry needed further proof of the success of the foundry-fabless business model, it got it Monday (July 31) when market research firm IC Insights Inc. released its rankings of the top 15 chip suppliers for the first half of 2006. (See below for table)
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) vaulted from the eighth position in 2005 to rank fourth in world among chip suppliers in revenue for the first half of this year, according to ranking. Qualcomm Inc. also became the first fabless company to crack the top 15 suppliers, ranking No. 15 in the world with first half revenue of more than $2.1 billion, according to IC Insights (Scottsdale, Ariz.).
With first half revenue of more than $4.9 billion, TSMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) vaulted past established chip powerhouses Toshiba Corp., ST Microelectronics, Renesas Technology Corp. and Infineon AG, according to the rankings.
Not surprisingly, Intel Corp., with first half revenue of more than $15.2 billion, topped the list, followed by Samsung Electronics ($9 billion) and Texas Instruments Inc.($6.8 billion).
The top 15 companies posted combined sales of $73.3 billion, up 1 percent from the first half of 2005, according to the report. Hynix, Freescale Semiconductor, Philips Semiconductors, NEC, Micron Technology and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) also made the list. Despite posting a 9 percent decrease in first half sales, AMD vaulted from No. 16 last year to No. 14 in the first half of this year, according to IC Insights.
Qualcomm's 11 percent increase in sales over the first half of 2005 was the largest jump by any of the companies in the top 15, according to the report. Though it maintains a commanding overall No. 1 ranking, Intel posted the largest single drop in first half sales, 10 percent, according to the report.
IC Insights said it expects full year sales at Intel to be down at least 10 percent, but said AMD is on pace for a 42 percent increase for the full year.
Freescale and Philips, ranked ninth and 10th, respectively, finished nearly neck-and-neck in the first half, separated by $1 million in revenue. Using third quarter outlooks from the companies as well as its own estimates for fourth quarter revenue, IC Insights said it expects Philips to finish ahead of Freescale and hold on to the 10th position for the year.
One of the hottest applications for semiconductors in the first half of
2006 was for cellular phones, according to the report. IC Insights forecasts that worldwide cellular phone shipments in 2006 will reach about 950 million handsets, up 18 percent over 2005.
IC Insights noted that, while Intel, Samsung and TI each have a firm hold on the top three spots, the fourth through sixth positions are hotly contested and "up for grabs." this year. In the first half, less than $60 million separated No. 4 TSMC, from No. 6 ST Micro, the firm said.
Analyzing fourth quarter outlooks for the top 15 suppliers and adding in its own estimates for fourth quarter sales, IC Insights said the top 15 semiconductor companies are on track to post an 8 percent increase in semiconductor sales in 2006.
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