Qualcomm's move to the No. 3
position in chip sales underscores the company's meteoric rise and the
growing success of the fabless-foundry model. Just four years ago,
Qualcomm became the first fabless chip vendor to enter IC Insights' top 10 ranking in the third quarter of 2008.
90 of the top 157 chip makers are projected to experience a
year-over-year decline in sales in 2012, according to IHS, contributing
to the upward rise of Qualcomm, Broadcom, Sony, NXP, Nvidia and
MediaTek. In fact, seven of the Top 20 chip suppliers are expected to
experience 11-to-17 percent declines in 2012, including Advanced Micro
Devices Inc. (AMD), Freescale Semiconductor Inc., TI, Toshiba Corp.,
STMicroelectronics NV, Elpida Memory Inc. and Renesas Electronics Corp.,
according to IHS.
Sony is expected to experience the second
highest growth among chip suppliers in 2012, behind Qualcomm, IHS said.
Sony's chip sales are expected to grow 20 percent this year, paced by
strong sales of CMOS imaging sensors for mobile devices, which accounts
for 60 percent of Sony's total semiconductor sales, IHS said.
is expected to make the biggest jump in the rankings—up four spots from
21 to 17—on the strength of a nearly five percent growth in 2012 over
its disappointing 2011 sales. NXP and Nvidia are each expected to move
up two positions in the top 20 ranking to 14th and 15th, respectively.