Intel commands lead as global semiconductor sales grow 5pc

4 Apr 2014

Total worldwide semiconductor revenues for 2013 hit US$315bn, up 5pc on 2012 despite a weakening PC market and signs of saturation in smartphone sales.

Intel maintained its No 1 rank, followed by Samsung and Qualcomm.

“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,” said Andrew Norwood, research vice president at Gartner.

“Memory, and in particular DRAM, led this growth; not due to strong demand, but rather weak supply growth that pushed pricing higher.

Headwinds that chip away at growth

gartner chips

“In fact, the overall market faced a number of demand headwinds during the year, with PC production declining 9.9pc and the premium smartphone market showing signs of saturation as growth tilted toward lower-priced, albeit quite capable, entry-level and midrange smartphone models.”

Intel saw a second year of revenue contraction with sales down 1pc, mostly due to falling PC sales.

However, it continues to command a clear lead, holding the No. 1 position for the 22nd consecutive year with 15.4pc of the market.

Samsung Electronics maintained the No. 2 position for the 12th year. The company has almost doubled its share of the market since 2002. Samsung’s memory business saw strong revenue growth for both DRAM and NAND flash.

In third position, Qualcomm’s semiconductor business grew 30.6pc. 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 21pc during 2013.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years