HiSilicon’s rapid rise was a result of stockpiling on behalf of its parent Huawei ahead of expected enhanced restrictions being imposed by the US.
Omdia reckons global sales of chips in the 1Q20 were $110.1 billion, down sequentially by 2 percent from $112.3 billion in 4Q19. But in contrast the top ten vendors grew their sales by 2.1 percent to $63.6 billion, 57.8 percent of the total.
Top ten semiconductor suppliers ranked by sales revenue in 1Q20 (millions of US$). Source: Omdia.
Generally vendors of memory products improved their positions slightly as memory prices firmed while vendors of logic and other component types saw sales fall.
Rather than being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic many leading companies benefitted from a Covid-driven increase in PC and server sales.
Omdia analysts Ron Ellwanger said that “stay-at-home” consumption focused on PCs as locked-down consumers tried to stay in touch with friends, family and business associates. This is turn drove demand for business servers and data center technology.
Increased PC sales also drove memory demand and NAND flash memory sales grew 6.9 percent sequentially.
Sixth-ranked Qualcomm grew 14.6 percent sequential growth in the first quarter, while HiSilicon surged by 40.3 percent.
Ellwanger said Qualcomm is benefitting from the Chinese government’s move to kickstart its economy with the deployment of 5G infrastructure. HiSilicon’s surge is due to stockpiling efforts by Huawei to get chips made ahead of enhanced restrictions being imposed by the US (Huawei stockpiling chips, expecting tighter US sanctions). The restrictions include a 120-day grace period to complete work-in-progress, which means they will fully come into effect in September 2020.
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