For most of 2016 it was forecast it would be down or flat year but IHS Markit reckons a surge in the second half took global chip revenue to $352.4 billion, up from $345.6 billion in 2015.
Intel was able to gain market share versus Samsung due to acquisitions by Intel and the impact of weak memory prices on Samsung. Qualcomm in third place stumbled as the leading fabless chip company as it comes under pressure to moderate its royalty demands and the creation of Broadcom Ltd. threatened its ranking. The situation will change in 2017 with memory prices rising rapidly and Qualcomm due to absorb NXP and the prospect of more consolidation.
Top ten chip vendors ranked by annual sales in 2016. Source: IHS Markit.
The DRAM and NAND flash memory market grew more than 30 percent collectively in the second half of 2016, IHS Markit commented. Semiconductors for automotive applications were also a driver of 2016 with a 9.7 percent expansion by year-end.
The year of 2016 was another one of consolidation and it began with the close of the biggest-ever acquisition in the semiconductor industry. Avago Technologies finalized its $37 billion acquisition of Broadcom Corp. to form Broadcom Limited, which jumped to rank fourth in terms of market share.
Among the top 20 semiconductor suppliers, On Semiconductor and Nvidia enjoyed the largest revenue growth, followed closely by MediaTek. ON and MediaTek achieved growth through multiple acquisitions, while nVidia saw demand for its GPU technology as it moves into automotive.
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