Sales declines dominate 1Q16 chip vendor ranking

May 23, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Seven of the top-20 chip vendors ranked by revenue in 1Q16 showed double-digit percentage declines compared to 1Q15, according to figures produced by IC Insights.

Qualcomm, Micron, and SK Hynix registered greater than 25 percent drops. Micron and SK Hynix were hit by falling averaging selling prices in memory components.

The combined sales revenue of the top 20 companies fell in 1Q16 by 6 percent compared with 1Q15, one percentage point less than the total worldwide semiconductor industry decline of 7 percent.  

IC Insights includes foundries in the top-20 semiconductor supplier even though in some cases the semiconductor sales are double counted.

AMD had a rough 1Q16 and saw its sales drop 19 percent year-over-year to $832 million but it was still able to leap-frog over Sharp, which did even worse with a plunge of 30 percent that cast it out of the top 20.

Top 20 semiconductor vendors ranked by 1Q16 sales revenue. Source: IC Insights.

In order to allow for more useful year-over-year comparisons, acquired/merged semiconductor company sales results were combined for both 1Q15 and 1Q16, regardless of when the acquisition or merger occurred.  For example, although Intel’s acquisition of Altera did not close until late December of 2015, Altera’s 1Q15 sales ($435 million) were added to Intel’s 1Q15 sales ($11,632 million) to come up with the $12,067 million shown in Figure 1 for Intel’s 1Q15 sales.  The same method was used to calculate the 1Q15 sales for Broadcom Ltd. (Avago/Broadcom), NXP (NXP/Freescale), and GlobalFoundries (GlobalFoundries/IBM).

Apple is an anomaly in the top-20 ranking with regards to major semiconductor suppliers. The company designs and uses its processors only in its own products—there are no sales of the company’s MPUs to other system makers. Apple’s custom ARM-based SoC processors had a “sales value” of $1,390 million in 1Q16, up 10% from $1,260 million in 1Q15.  Apple’s MPUs have been used in 13 iPhone handset designs since 2007 and a dozen iPad tablet models since 2010 as well as in iPod portable media players, smartwatches, and Apple TV units.  Apple’s custom processors—such as the