South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is expected to be No. 4 on the foundry sales ranking list for the second consecutive year, IC Insights said. Thanks to its position as the foundry for Apple Inc.'s A4 and A5 processors, Samsung's foundry sales are expected to surge 54 percent to $3.38 billion in 2012, IC Insights said. This lofty growth would come on the heels of 82 percent foundry sales in 2011, according to the firm. Apple is expected to account for 85 percent of Samsung's foundry sales in 2012.
Samsung, which in 2010 had foundry sales of about $1.21 billion, remains the top integrated device manufacturer (IDM) in foundry sales in 2012, IC Insights said. Samsung's 2012 foundry sales are projected to be more than eight times greater than IBM Corp., which is expected to have the second largest foundry sales among IDMs, IC Insights said.
In total, the top 12 foundries are expected to represent 89 percent of total foundry sales in 2012, including both pure-play foundries and IDMs, IC Insights said. This figure is eight points higher than 81 percent in 2009, before Samsung dramatically ramped up production for Apple, the firm said.
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Thanks to tremendous barriers to entry into the foundry business, IC Insights said it expects the top 12 foundry vendors' overall share of the business to continue to steadily rise in the future.
IC Insights is bullish on foundries in general. With the continued success of fabless companies and the continued migration of IDMs to the "fab-lite" model, the firm expects foundries to enjoy strong demand for their services over the next few years. The firm said it expects the foundry business to remain very competitive among the four leading-edge foundry suppliers—TSMC, Globalfoundries, UMC and Samsung.