LONDON – The market for analog chips declined in 2012 to $39.3 billion, down 7 percent from $42.4 billion in 2011, according to market research firm Databeans Inc. (Reno, Nevada).
This was a steeper decline than the 3 percent contraction experienced by the overall semiconductor market. Of the application sectors for analog ICs, power, automotive and communications were the most resilient, whereas computer, interface, and data conversion products took the worst hit, the firm reckons.
The ranking of the leading analog IC vendors changed only slightly in 2012, according to Databeans with Analog Devices rising above Infineon Technologies to take third spot despite both companies suffering declining analog sales. In contrast Qualcomm in fifth spot increased its sales by 7 percent.
Texas Instruments remained the leading vendor of analog chips and in 2012 had 16.7 percent of the entire market, or $6.6 billion in revenue. In 2011, Texas Instruments completed the acquisition of National Semiconductor. STMicroelectronics retained the second largest market share for 2012 at slightly over 9 percent and $3.6 billion in revenue.
Third ranked Analog Devices leads in the data converter segment, making up half of its $1.1 billion in analog sales in 2012. ADI had an 84 percent share in high speed ADCs and a 60 percent share in overall ADC revenue, Databeans estimated.
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Worldwide Analog IC sales revenues for 2012 and 2011 by supplier. Source: Databeans.
As seen in the case of Qualcomm, although it is, of course, actively pursuing emerging wireless power applications for mobile devices and electric vehicles, this represents a natural extension of its core wireless signal business, rather than an entry into the broader analog IC business domain.
An “Analog IC Company” is defined as an IC vendor that develops designs, and sells ICs that are confined to the analog part of the Analog-Digital spectrum of an IC’s functional content. These ICs feature either a nearly 100 percent analog or an analog-intensive functional content. They could be function specific (i.e., general purpose) (e.g. an operational amplifier) or application specific (i.e., ASSP) (e.g. an RF power amplifier).
Representative companies focusing on the function specific products include traditional analog IC companies, such as TI, Analog Devices, Maxim, and Linear Technology. Representative companies focusing on the ASSPs include STMicroelectronics, Infineon, NXP, and Skyworks Solutions.
A nice try from DataBeans but I think that one should stick with a far more precise classification of what defines an Analog IC vendor - selling analog ICs on open market -- usually to tens of thousands customers.
Two key attributes of an Analog IC Company include:
1. Analog and analog-intensive ICs represent the company’s primary and dominant business in terms of revenues and product portfolio.
2. The company addresses and competes in the broader analog market featuring thousands of users (so-called horizontal markets).
Some IC vendors occupying the middle, mixed-signal, part of the Analog-Digital spectrum also provide power management ICs, typically as part of their chipsets, such as Qualcomm. However, these companies should be excluded in Analog IC company rankings since they do not meet both above criteria.
Qualcomm uses its mixed-signal ICs in its own chipsets which it sells to its OEM customers. The classification problem is the boundary between the analog/analog-intensive and mixed-signal parts of the Analog-Digital spectrum which is vaguely defined; hence, left to interpretations.