Total worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $315 billion in 2013, up 5% from 2012, according to final figures compiled by the market research firm Gartner Inc.
Gartner's final top 10 ranking of chip vendors for 2013 is similar to that of IC Insights but with a couple of significant differences. Gartner does not include the foundry TSMC and ranks the memory chip vendor SK Hynix above Micron Technology. The latter difference is because Gartner includes only sales from Elpida Memory Inc. in Micron's sales from the third quarter of 2013 onward, whereas IC Insights amalgamated them for the whole year.
Other observations from Gartner included that the combined revenue of the top 25 semiconductor vendors increased by 6.9% during 2013, and the memory market increased 23.5% in 2013. Both of these figures are ahead of the market average and display the effect of consolidation, particularly in the memory market.
Gartner agrees with IC Insights that Intel saw a second year of revenue contraction due to falling PC sales. Gartner puts Intel's contraction at 1% but observes that Intel still holds 15.4% of the total market and has retained its No. 1 position for the 22nd consecutive year.
In third position, Qualcomm's semiconductor business grew 30.6%. This was achieved due to its market-leading position in smartphone application processors and Long Term Evolution (LTE) baseband processors. The company continues to outperform the market, with its mobile station modem unit shipments increasing 21% during 2013.
Gartner recognizes that many chip companies fall or excel along with the markets they serve, and so comparison with their peers is also an important measure of chip company performance.
MediaTek and Qualcomm topped Gartner's Relative Industry Performance index analysis by significantly outgrowing their peers in the mobile handset market. MediaTek accomplished this by focusing on the low-tier and mid-tier segments in China and other emerging markets; Qualcomm dominated the Tier 1 OEMs and high-end segments.
"After a weak start to 2013 due to excess inventory, revenue growth strengthened during the second and third quarters before leveling off during the fourth quarter," Andrew Norwood, research vice president at Gartner, said in a press release. "Memory, and in particular DRAM, led this growth; not due to strong demand, but rather weak supply growth that pushed pricing higher. In fact, the overall market faced a number of demand headwinds during the year, with PC production declining 9.9 percent and the premium smartphone market showing signs of saturation as growth tilted toward lower-priced, albeit quite capable, entry-level and midrange smartphone models."
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.