SAN FRANCISCOóRiding the wave of the semiconductor industry upturn, memory chip vendors and silicon foundries were the best performers in the first half of 2010, with most moving up at least one spot in on the top 20 semiconductor firms list compiled by market research firm IC Insights Inc.
Of the five major memory suppliers in the top 20 ranking, all but Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. moved up at least one spot in the second quarter, with Japan's Elpida Memory Inc. jumping five spots to land at No. 10, IC Insights (Scottsdale, Ariz.) said.
While Samsungóthe No. 2 ranked chip vendor overallódid not move up on the listing, the company did gain ground on top-ranked Intel Corp., IC Insights said. Samsung trailed Intel in second quarter chip sales by 21 percent, down from a margin of 52 percent in 2009, the firm said.
Strength of DRAM and NAND flash memory markets drove year-over-year sales increases of 14 percent at Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and Micron Technology Inc. and 18 percent at Elpida, according to IC Insights' Strategic Reviews online database. Each company's sales in the first half were only about $1 billion less than for the full year of 2009, according to the database.
Silicon foundry suppliers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) also had strong first halves, with TSMC moving to No. 5 in the ranking from No. 6 and UMC jumping six spots into eighteenth place.
Collectively, the top 20 semiconductor companies had sales of about $102 billion in the first half of 2010, according to IC Insights. If revenues among the top 20 suppliers stay flat in the second half of the year they will total $204 billion, an increase of 29 percent over 2009. Revenues for the second half of the year are likely to be higher than the first half, IC Insights said.