LONDON – Samsung doubled its foundry sales in 2012 and took third place, behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and Globalfoundries Inc. in a ranking compiled by market analyst IC Insights.
TSMC remained the leading foundry with sales almost four times greater than those of second-ranked Globalfoundries. United Microelectronics Corp. – for many years the second ranked foundry – experienced a fall in sales in 2012 and slipped back to fourth place (see ranking table below).
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Top 12 foundry companies ranked by 2012 sales.
Source: IC Insights
Globalfoundries' sales increased by 31 percent and other notable sales increases were achieved by China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) and Taiwan's Win Semiconductors Corp., a compound semiconductor foundry.
Samsung's manufacture of application processors for Apple was key to its growth in 2012 although it is expected that Apple will start to move manufacturing to TSMC in 2013. Nonetheless IC Insights said it believes Samsung will challenge Globalfoundries for the number two spot in 2013.
Samsung's dedicated foundry IC capacity was 150,000 wafers per month in 4Q12 giving the company the potential to produce annual sales of about $5.4 billion, assuming an average revenue per wafers of $3,000, said IC Insights.
In 2012 Apple's share of Samsung's foundry output was 89 percent, the market watcher said. Samsung's challenge will be to bring on replacement customers as Apple diversifies its suppliers.
In total, the top 12 foundries were responsible for 90 percent of total foundry sales in 2012. This has increased from 81 percent in 2009, before Samsung began manufacturing processors for Apple. IC Insights consolidation to continue and the top 12 market share to continue to rise.
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