Look who is Leading the World Semiconductor Business

Look who is Leading the World Semiconductor Business
by Pawan Fangaria on 11-08-2014 at 7:00 pm

A couple of days ago I was reading a news article which said how long the world economy will be dependent on a single engine to drive it; obviously that single engine is USA. If we consider the overall economy, definitely USA is driving it, and semiconductor is a large part of it. The semiconductor is driving electronics and that is attracting other countries across the globe to setup semiconductor shops, fabs to be specific; first to be self reliant and then to be able to supply to neighbouring countries. Sometime ago I had learnt that Chinese Govt has planned to spend ~$170B in 5 – 10 years to support chip industry within the country to reduce their import bill on semiconductor chips. India’s electronics import bill is also bulging and it has been planning since long to setup foundries to reduce chip import and develop electronics in-house. Anyway, that’s not the point; the point is who is leading this space.

What caught my attention when I looked at the IC Insights’ 2014 forecast preview reportof top 20 semiconductor companies’ sales figures for 2013 and 2014? While semiconductor industry is seeing robust growth of 9% with top 20 companies, 9 companies out of those are set to register double digit growth, and 3 companies, TSMCand Media Tekin Taiwan and SK Hynixin South Korea are set to register highest >20% growth.

Taking a closure look, I found interesting data; combine the three companies in Taiwan (TSMC, Media Tek and UMC) and two companies in South Korea (Samsungand SK Hynix) and you see ~34.5% of total sales ($89627M) of top 20 in 2014 are here! So what does it convey, with highest growth and lion’s share in total sales of top 20 semiconductor companies? Are these two countries set to drive the world semiconductor business?

Looking from a different angle, among the pure-play foundries, TSMC is the top manufacturer and supplier of chips. The only other pure-play foundry in top 20 companies is UMC, so can we say Taiwan is the leader in pure-play foundry business? They are the top suppliers for fabless companies around the world, and fabless, in my view, is the main driver of semiconductor industry today.

I see Intelat the top with 6% growth in ‘pure-play IDM’ category. Do we see Intel transforming more into pure-play now? Is IDM business sustainable?

I guess we may be able to see more detailed data when the final report gets published by the end of this month. It will be interesting to see the break up foundry, design and other businesses of Samsung and Intel, provided they publish those with break-up view.

I see that 2015 McClean Report is also scheduled to be released in Jan 2015 which has 400+ tables and graphs and there are seminars on the report scheduled in Jan, next year. It will be interesting to know about those details.

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