The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred a global digital transformation which has, in turn, kept the market for semiconductors remarkably strong in 2020. The best performers were those strongly exposed to consumer applications, the smartphone and the computing and data center markets.

The best performers were Nvidia, AMD, Qualcomm, MediaTek, TSMC and Apple. Intel’s relatively weak growth of 4 percent year-on-year comes despite its exposure to those same markets. Essentially AMD, Nvidia and Apple are all winning at Intel’s expense.

Top 15 semiconductor vendors ranked by forecasted 2020 sales revenue. Source: IC Insights. List includes foundries, IDMs and fabless chip companies.

Nvidia is expected report a 50 percent year-on-year increase in sales and AMD a 41 percent increase.

The weak performers were those companies exposed to industrial and automotive markets, which suffered most from lockdowns and work suspensions. Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Micron Technology and Infineon are notable for being forecast to see revenue contractions in 2020. However, the set back for these companies is expected to be temporary.

In total, the top-15 semiconductor companies’ sales are forecast to jump by 13 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, slightly more than twice the expected total worldwide semiconductor industry increase of 6 percent. In contrast, in 2019, the top-15 semiconductor suppliers registered a collective 15 percent decline in sales. 

MediaTek is expected to jump up five spots to 11th place while AMD is forecast to move up three positions to 15th this year. IC Insights reckons Apple’s custom ICs will have an equivalent ‘sales value’ of about $10 billion in 2020.

Infineon’s figures include Cypress’ sales for 2019 and 2020 to make comparison more meaningful. Infineon had 2019 sales of $8,933 million while Cypress had 2019 sales of $2,205 million. The deal was finalized on April 16, 2020. 

TSMC’s 31 percent rise is largely due to a surge in sales of 7nm and 5nm applications processors to Apple and Huawei/HiSilicon for their respective smartphones.

IC Insights includes IDMs, foundries and fabless chip companies in its semiconductor supplier ranking since it has always viewed it as a top supplier list, not a market share ranking, and realizes that in some cases the semiconductor sales are double counted.

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