Some companies in the middle ground include Intel, ST and Infineon with growth of 14, 16 and 14 percent respectively. Intel is fabbed but has had well documented problems in getting its 10nm FinFET manufacturing process up and running. Intel's dominant position in PC ecosystem has kept it afloat. And while European chip companies STMicroelectronics, Infineon and NXP do have fabs they are strong examples of the fab-lite approach which may also explain their midde-ranking growth performance.
In total, the top 15 semiconductor companies' sales are forecast to rise by 18 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, two points higher than the expected total worldwide semiconductor industry 2018/2017 increase of 16 percent.
Sanders made his original remark back in the early days of rise of the foundry-fabless business model – and in part as a push back against it. But eventually the company he had led as CEO, Advanced Micro Devices, went fabless.
But one notable feature of this ranking is how poorly TSMC is expected to perform, showing only 6 percent growth. This may seem suprising particularly with successful 16nm and 10nm processes in play and 7nm manufacturing process ramping rapidly. It reflects how dependent TSMC has become on the smartphone market, which is itself largely saturated and showing declining selling prices for key components.
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