UMC rises as ranking shows foundry market grew in 2014
The market leader, TSMC, gained market share to reach 53.7 percent, up from 49.8 percent in 2013 (see table). TSMC increased its revenue by $5 billion in one year due to the success of its 28 and 20nm manufacturing processes. United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) bounced back to the number 2 position, overtaking Globalfoundries, with $4.62 billion revenue in 2014, less than a fifth the sales of TSMC. UMC’s sales represented 9.9 percent of the market and was achieved due to its 28nm CMOS process catching up and some customers turning a portion of their work load away from TSMC.
Top 10 worldwide semiconductor foundries by 2014 revenue (US$ millions). Source: Gartner.
1 Samsung includes foundry business worth $745 million and revenue from Apple’s A6/A6X/A7 processors but not the A4/A5/A5X chips.
2 Shanghai Huahong Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing was formerly known as Grace HHNEC.
Note: Numbers may not add to totals shown because of rounding.
In 2014 the fourth quarter was stronger than usual due to good momentum from the Apple supply chain. The wafer demand generated by touchscreen controllers, display driver chips and power management ICs has tightened supply of 200mm diameter wafers. The situation will not improve much in 2015 as foundries are only now looking to expand 200mm manufacturing capacity.
"2014 has been the third consecutive year when foundries have achieved impressive 16 percent revenue growth," said Samuel Wang, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement. "A number of factors have made 2014 a robust year for foundries – inventory stocking in the second quarter by customers, increase of units sold in ultramobiles, the strength of the Apple’s supply chain riding the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the second half of the year, a conversion of integrated device manufacturer revenue to foundry revenue and wafer demand from the early adoption of wearables."
The year saw a big increase in foundry revenue from fabless customers while revenue from IDM customers remained flat. System-level customers provided a boost to foundry revenue, mostly due to Apple’s 20-nm business at TSMC.
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