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Intel to Reclaim Number One Semiconductor Supplier Ranking in 2019

Daniel Nenni

Staff member
Sony tops among only three top-15 semiconductor suppliers to show growth this year.

IC Insights’ November Update to the 2019 McClean Report, released later this month, includes a discussion of the forecasted top-25 semiconductor suppliers in 2019 (the top-15 2019 semiconductor suppliers are covered in this research bulletin). The Update also includes a detailed five-year forecast of the IC market by product type (including dollar volume, unit shipments, and average selling price) and a forecast of the major semiconductor industry capital spenders for 2019 and 2020.

The expected top-15 worldwide semiconductor (IC and O-S-D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 2019 is shown in Figure 1. It includes six suppliers headquartered in the U.S., three in Europe, two each in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.


Figure 1
In total, the top-15 semiconductor companies’ sales are forecast to drop by 15% in 2019 compared to 2018, two points lower than the expected total worldwide semiconductor industry decline of 13%. The three largest memory suppliers—Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron—are each forecast to register ≥29% year-over-year declines in 2018 with SK Hynix expected to log the biggest decline among the top-15 companies with a 38% plunge in sales this year.

All of the top-15 companies are expected to have sales of at least $7.0 billion in this year, the same number of companies as in 2018. As shown in Figure 2, only three of the top-15 companies are forecast to register year-over-year growth in 2019—Sony, TSMC, and MediaTek. Moreover, six companies are expected to have double-digit sales declines this year, including four of the big memory suppliers (Samsung, SK Hynix, Micron, and Toshiba/Kioxia) as well as Nvidia and Qualcomm.


Figure 2
The largest move upward in the ranking is forecast to come from Sony, which is expected to move up four spots to the 11th position on the strength of extremely strong image sensor sales. In contrast, NXP is expected to fall two places to 14th with a sales decline of 6% this year.

Intel was the number one ranked semiconductor supplier in 1Q17 but lost its lead spot to Samsung in 2Q17. It also fell from the top spot in the full-year 2017 ranking, a position it had held since 1993. With the strong surge in the DRAM and NAND flash markets in 2018, Samsung went from having 7% more total semiconductor sales than Intel in 2017 to having 12% more semiconductor sales than Intel in 2018. However, with a forecasted 34% drop in the memory market this year, Intel is once again expected to rank as the largest semiconductor supplier and have sales that are 26% larger than Samsung in 2019.

The 2019 top-15 ranking includes one pure-play foundry (TSMC) and four fabless companies. If TSMC is excluded from the top-15 ranking, China-based HiSilicon (Huawei) would move into the 15th position with forecasted 2019 sales of $7.5 billion, up 24% from 2018.

IC Insights includes foundries in the top-15 semiconductor supplier ranking since it has always viewed the ranking as a top supplier list, not a marketshare ranking, and realizes that in some cases the semiconductor sales are double counted. With many of our clients being vendors to the semiconductor industry (supplying equipment, chemicals, gases, etc.), excluding large IC manufacturers like the foundries would leave significant holes in the list of top semiconductor suppliers. Foundries and fabless companies are identified in the Figures. In the April Update to The McClean Report, marketshare rankings of IC suppliers by product type were presented and foundries were excluded from these listings.

Overall, the top-15 list is provided as a guideline to identify which companies are the leading semiconductor suppliers, whether they are IDMs, fabless companies, or foundries.

Report Details: The 2020 McClean Report
The 2020 edition of The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry, will be released in January 2020. A subscription to The McClean Report includes free monthly updates from March through November (including a 200+ page Mid-Year Update), and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year. An individual user license to the 2020 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,990 and includes an Internet access password. A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,990.

As part of your 2020 subscription, you are entitled to free attendance at a McClean Report seminar (one seat for each copy purchased; company-wide licensees receive five free seats). The schedule for next year’s seminar tour is shown below.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 — Scottsdale, Arizona
Thursday, January 23, 2020 — San Jose, California
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 — Boston, Massachusetts

To review additional information about IC Insights’ new and existing market research products and services please visit our website:

PDF Version of This Bulletin
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Mediatek collaborates with amazon products (fire tv, fire tablet, echo, etc.) and has some gadgets (car cameras), sony is known for gadgets as well.

I think what we're seeing is companies that are flexible and can work with a company on a non-traditional product are growing. Intel offers a one-size fits all product but the products that use intel really isn't ergonomic. It's the story about the adaptable. Semiconductors have become more of a creative endeavor.

Eric Esteve

Very good work, we need to know the semi industry ranking!

When I see the ranking by growth rate, the worst 4, #12 to #15 are all memory suppliers, I would expect to see also the semi industry ranking by products except memory. Just because the memory products have been closer to a stock market, and they impact the industry in such a way that we miss the "real" trends.

If you look at the "pure players" (selling all but memory), 2019 was not a good year, but the decrease has been only 2 or 3%... Like 2017 was a good year, but with +3% growth and not +20% (when you include memory).

The problem comes when Wall Street tend to use the global growth figures, for example when deciding to invest in a company developing Processors, or AI chip or FPGA.

BTW, good to see the huge growth of Sony, based on CMOS Imager (CIS).


I like most people, use a mediatek tablet for most computer related things, internet, email, pop culture, .... . I only use a computer when I need to use word, excel etc. So for the pure players the market is flat and I think mediatek will grow at the expense of the pure players.


I kinda find that these rankings are a little bit misleading and not that helpful. For example, I find no point in including on the same ranking design / fabless companies and foundries, nor using the combined foundry+IDM numbers for certain companies. Broadcom, Intel, Qualcomm, nVidia use TSMC and Samsung for chip fabrication and therefore in this table we clearly see a lot of double counting. Memory and other chip sales also skew the overall image as well as Eric noted and a troublesome market (such as memory in 2019) does not enable us to see a more clearer picture. For example, the sensor business growth of Samsung is foreshadowed by the big drop in memory and I think it is really important as it shows that Samsung's sensor business grows much more rapidly than Sony's who is the market leader.