Chip market grew 5% in 2013, says Gartner

April 08, 2014 // By Peter Clarke
Total worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $315 billion in 2013, up 5 percent from 2012, according final figures compiled by market research firm Gartner Inc.

Gartner's final top 10 ranking of chip vendors for 2013 is similar to that of IC Insights (see Memory, firms, fabless climb chip vendor ranking ) but with a couple of significant differences. Gartner does not include foundry TSMC and ranks memory chip vendor SK Hynix above rival Micron Technology. The latter difference is because Gartner only includes sales from Elpida Memory Inc. in Micron's sales from 3Q13 onwards whereas IC Insights amalgamated them for the whole year.

Other observations from Gartner included that the combined revenue of the top 25 semiconductor vendors increased by 6.9 percent during 2013 and the memory market increased 23.5 percent in 2013. Both of these figures are ahead of the market average and display the affect of consolidation, particularly in the memory market.

Gartner agrees with IC Insights that Intel saw a second year of revenue contraction due to falling PC sales. Gartner puts Intel's contraction at 1 percent but observes that Intel still holds 15.4 percent of the total market and has retained its number one position for the 22nd consecutive year.

In third position, Qualcomm's semiconductor business grew 30.6 percent. This was achieved due to its market-leading position in smartphone application processors and Long Term Evolution (LTE) baseband processors. The company continues to outperform the market, with its mobile station modem unit shipments increasing 21 percent during 2013.

Gartner recognizes that many chip companies fall or excel along with the markets they serve and so comparison with their peers is also an important measure of chip company performance. MediaTek and Qualcomm topped Gartner's Relative Industry Performance index analysis by significantly outgrowing their peers in the mobile handset market. MediaTek accomplished this by focusing on the low-tier and midtier segments in China and other emerging markets; Qualcomm dominated the Tier 1 OEMs and high-end segments.

"After a weak start to 2013 due to excess inventory, revenue growth strengthened during the second and third