Boom year for chip market

Boom year for chip market

Market news |
By Nick Flaherty

The semiconductor industry saw a boom year in 2021 with sales by 17 ‘megasuppliers’ expected to jump by 26 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, one point greater than the forecasted total worldwide semiconductor industry 2021/2020 increase of 25 percent.

IC Insights is updating its comprehensive forecasts and analyses of the IC industry for its 25th edition of The McClean Report in January 2022.  

These megasuppliers include nine suppliers headquartered in the US, three in Europe, two in Taiwan and South Korea, and one in Japan. The list includes six fabless companies (Qualcomm, Nvidia, Broadcom, MediaTek, AMD, and Apple) and one pure-play foundry (TSMC).  

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The 17 companies forecast to have worldwide semiconductor (IC and O-S-D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales of over $10.0bn in 2021 add AMD, NXP, and Analog Devices, following the acquisition of Maxim Integrated Products.

In order to make the year-over-year growth rate comparisons more reflective of actual growth, the sales figures include each company’s semiconductor sales from acquisitions in 2020 and 2021 regardless of when the acquisition was finalized.  For example, Analog Devices officially closed its deal to acquire Maxim on August 25, 2021.  However, IC Insights added Maxim’s full-year 2020 IC sales of $2,354 million to Analog Devices’ 2020 semiconductor sales for a total of $8,127 million.  Moreover, $665 million was added to Analog Devices’ 1Q21 sales to account for Maxim’s 1Q21 revenue with another $720 million added to Analog Devices’ 2Q21 sales to reflect Maxim’s semiconductor sales in that time.  Since the deal was finalized at the end of August, about two-thirds the way through 3Q21, $500 million in sales was added to Analog Devices’ 3Q21 sales. With these adjustments, Analog Devices’ 2021/2020 semiconductor sales are forecast to jump by 24 percent.  

Growth rates among the 17 2021 megasuppliers are expected to range from AMD’s 65 percent to Intel’s -1 percent. Four companies—AMD, MediaTek, Nvidia, and Qualcomm—are forecast to post a sales gain of greater than 50 percent this year, although this is from a depressed level in 2020 and includes price rises that result from the chip shortage.

Samsung’s semiconductor sales are forecast to be nearly $83.1bn in 2021, making it the largest semiconductor supplier this year.  Driven by a resurgent memory market and relatively flat sales results from Intel, Samsung once again replaced Intel as the leading semiconductor producer beginning in 2Q21. With the DRAM market NAND flash markets showing strong growth in 2021, Samsung is forecast to register a 34 percent increase in 2021/2020 sales and open up a $7.5 billion lead over second-ranked Intel this year.

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