SAN FRANCISCO—Qualcomm Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. each passed Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in microprocessor sales in 2012, thanks to a slowdown in PC sales coupled with strong growth in smartphone and media tablet sales, according to market research firm IC Insights Inc.
The displacement of AMD—which had been the No. 2 supplier of MPUs behind Intel Corp. since the 1990s—underscores the disruption caused by the rise of smartphones and tablets at the expense of PCs. The new top 10 MPU list shows most leading suppliers of mobile processors based on ARM technology moving higher in the ranking while PC-dependent x86 MPU companies—Intel and AMD—continued to lose marketshare in 2012.
Among the top 10 MPU suppliers, only top-ranked Intel and fourth-place AMD sell processors built with x86 microarchitectures for standard notebook and desktop PCs running Windows operating system software from Microsoft. The remaining top 10 suppliers develop and sell mobile MPUs with RISC processor cores licensed from ARM.
Qualcomm, which dominates to the baseband IC market, has largely been successful in selling its Snapdragon applications processors. Samung sells its own ARM-based processors and is also the sole foundry for Apple Inc.'s Ax series of processors for its iPhones and iPads.
Sales of the ARM-based Snapdragon SoCs increased 28 percent in 2012 to $5.3 billion, increasing Qualcomm's MPU marketshare to 9.4 percent, IC Insights said. Samsung—including Apple’s MPU foundry business—moved to third place in the 2012 ranking from fourth in 2011 with a 78 percent increase in MPU sales, IC Insights said. About 83 percent of Samsung’s $4.7 billion in MPU revenues in 2012 came from Apple’s processors, IC Insights said.
Based on mobile desing wins I see, Intel's numbers will continue to decline in 2H-2013. zero silvermount availability in Q3 .... Limited in even Q4.
Why is Intel so late with 22nm in mobile? All intel atoms still on 32 nm now and will remain so for most if not all of 2013.
While Qualcomm has beem shipping 28 nm in mobile space for over a year already
I'm not sure why Apple's A"x" series chips count in Samsung's basket while the rest of the fabless/fablight guys show under the their company and not the foundry(ie qualcomm)?
Shouldn't Apple be added to the list and a correction be made?
Althought I could argue for same reason, AMD should not be listed on this one, but also complicated since AMD doesn't manufacture (ie GF, TSMC), but also acts as reseller to customer other than themself.
After toying with the idea of listing Apple separately, the bottom line is that Apple is not an MPU supplier, they are an end user. As you mention, all of the fabless suppliers re-sell their MPUs and are correctly included as suppliers.
The Samsung/Apple case is an example of why not all foundry sales should be excluded when attempting to create marketshare data. With most of Samsung's sales sold to Apple, since Apple does not re-sell these devices, counting these foundry sales as Samsung MPU sales does not introduce double counting.
It should be noted that of the $32 billion in 2012 pure-play foundry sales from TSMC, GF, UMC, etc., only $200 million was to system houses like Apple.
Hi Bill, Apple is designing their own MPU now for some time, how will you handle when they start using tsmc instead of samsung?
Similarly other folks like Nvidia who are starting to directly sell products (shield w/ tegra4), will these parts be calculated back to TSMC?
That's a good question! When TSMC ramps up production of Apple processors we will need to look at what makes the most sense. Do you call Apple a "supplier" of MPUs (supplying to itself?) or do you put those sales under a pure-play foundry such as TSMC and list TSMC as an MPU supplier? One thing for certain, these Apple MPU sales will need to go to TSMC or Apple or they won't be counted at all, and that really isn't an option.
and MPU market gets more interesting
My friend at Intel just passed on info that new
CEO did a major re-organization this week
Problem is 22nm Silver mount is very late and uncompetitive and has no meaningful Smartphone design wins.
14 technology is also very late and design will not ship on time and could be 1 year late
When TSMC and Samsung catch intel in terms of process technology, due in part to intel slowing, then it becomes a capacity and yield game (read: unit price).
Intel is building factories at amazing pace all of a sudden, and I can guess this is why. But I bet Samsung and TSMC can build bigger/ faster...and not upset their shareholders in the process.
How the categorization is done may drastically change the picture.
Do we look at 32 bit and 64 bits only? Or we are looking at the whole spectrum.
How do we define supplier? Does supplier require to be able to fabricate? Does supplier require to supply to another company other than itself?
Nonetheless, the trend may give us an insight that the age of x86 domination is fading.