Nvidia, ST gate-crash memory party in chip sales

September 12, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
Companies selling memory chips enjoyed the strongest growth in a ranking of the top 15 chip companies ranked by 1H18 sales revenue compiled by market research firm IC Insights.

Seven companies had 20 percent of greater growth in 1H18 when compared with 1H17 nd these were the five memory companies – Samsung, SK Hynix, Micron, Toshiba/Toshiba Memory, and Western Digital/SanDisk – joined by graphics chip vendor Nvidia and broadline chip supplier STMicroelectronics.

Only four companies shows single-digit percentage growth and these were: Broadcom, Qualcomm, NXP and MediaTek. The third European chip company in the top 15 ranking was Infineon, which enjoyed 18 percent growth. As none of NXP, STMicroelectronics and Infineon are memory suppliers they could not match the average growth of the top 15 vendors of 24 percent which was dragged high by the memory sales.

Top 15 chip vendors ranked by 1H18 sales ($ millions) including foundries. Source: IC Insights.

Nonetheless Infineon, ST performed creditably. Nvidia is thought to have benefited from demand for GPUs for use in cryptocurrency mining applications.

IC Insights ranking is unusual in that it includes foundry TSMC, which sells to fabless chip companies, thus allowing a certain amount of double counting of sales. If TSMC were excluded from the top-15 ranking, IC Insights says U.S.-based Apple would have been ranked in the 15th position. Apple is also an anomaly in that if designs and uses its processors only in its own products. IC Insights estimates that Apple's ARM-based SoC processors and other custom devices had a sales value of $3.5 billion in 1H18.

Next: Toshiba's special circumstances


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