LONDON – The top 25 fabless chip companies supplied 80 percent of the $64.9 billion market for fabless IC sales in 2011, up 4 percent from the market value in 2010, according to a ranking supplied by market research firm IC Insights Inc. Overall, 15 of the top 25 fabless IC companies outperformed the total 2011 fabless IC sales growth rate (see figures below).
Spreadtrum Communications Inc. (Shanghai, China) was the star performer among the fabless IC producers last year, with a 95 percent sales jump. Spreadtrum supplies baseband processors and CMOS RF transceivers for wireless applications with over 90 percent of its sales to China-based customers. Spreadtrum has risen from being ranked as the 67th largest fabless IC supplier in 2009 to 17th in 2011.
In contrast to Spreadtrum, ST-Ericsson's IC sales dropped 28 percent in 2011 after declining by 9 percent in 2010.
The ranking of fabless chip companies continues to be dominated by U.S. companies that occupy eight of the top ten slots by sales volume. Europe is well represented in the lower ranks with Dialog growing strongly with 77 percent annual growth, according to IC Insights.
Japan has only one company in the ranks of the top 25 fabless chip companies, MegaChips Corp. (Osaka, Japan), a developer of chips for games makers, camera companies, cell phone makers and security companies, But in 2011, unlike many of the Japanese integrated device makers (IDMs), MegaChips grew revenue by 35 percent.
In my opinion, OmniVision (OVTI) should definitely be on the Top25 fabless list. It had more than $920M revenue for 4 quarters ended in Jan 2012.
Also, when did the old HP Semi group (aka Avago) become a Singapore company? On its own web site, it is happy to state "Avago Technologies Named One of America's Most Trustworthy Companies by Forbes." Does that mean for tax (or tax evasion)reason, it is registered in Singapore, but for business reason, it still likes to claim itself a US company?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.