MUNICH, Germany According to a recent study from market researcher Semicast (Northampton, UK), Infineon for the first time ranks number one in the industrial sector, ahead of STMicroelectronics and Renesas Technology.
According to the study that reflects the market conditions in 2007, Infineon could increase its market share to 7.5 percent from 6.4 percent a year earlier. During the same period, competitor STM fell back to a market share of 7.0 percent from 7.8 percent. Renesas raised its market share to 6.5 percent from 5.4 percent. Texas Instruments also raised its market share (from 5.7 percent to 6.3 percent) but nevertheless it fell back one notch in the ranking since Renesas grew faster. Ranking as number five, Analog Devices shed market share; its share went down from 4.9 percent in 2006 to 4.4 percent.
The total market volume for industrial semiconductor which also includes devices for medical applications was $20 billion. Semicast expects this volume to rise to $33 billion by 2013.
Infineon's rise reflects both booming sales of power discretes and the strong Euro, explained Semicast principal analyst Colin Barnden. For 2008, he expects another hard fought battle between the two top-ranking vendors for the pole position.
This contest could become particularly difficult since in times when economy is uncertain, many chip vendors could rediscover the industrial markets. This segment features a higher degree of stability which makes in less attractive in boom cycles but in the current phase of a slowing economy, many vendors feel it is a good place to be, Barnden explained. "That is not an opportunity any semiconductor supplier can afford to overlook," he said.