Memory woes help Intel shine in global chip market

April 02, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
Memory woes help Intel shine in global chip market
Annual semiconductor revenues fell by around a third in 2019 at Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron and this dragged the overall semiconductor market down and made Intel's flat performance as top vendor look good, according to Omdia.

The market researcher reckons the total semiconductor market was down 11.7 percent year-on-year at $428.5 billion. This size of annual market contraction is in-line with figures from WSTS and Gartner (see Chip market tries to draw line under weak 2019 and Chip market declined 12% in 2019, says Gartner ).

The 2019 memory chip revenue fell by 31.6 percent, with DRAM falling 37.2 percent and NAND flash memory dropping by 24.5 percent, according to Omdia.

Ranking of semiconductor vendors by 2019 revenue (millions of US dollars). Source: Omdia.

The drop in the overall chip market was greater than that of 2009 and it looks certain that it will be exceeded by 2020 due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The only company in the top ten ranking to grow revenue in 2019, besides Intel, was Broadcom ranked fifth. All the others in the ranking saw revenue fall. In the case of the Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron by 30 percent and more.

Intel, despite a difficult year supplying some customers with processors (see Intel apologies for another supply shortfall ) was able to eke out 1.3 percent growth to overtake 2018's market leader Samsung.  ST was able to jump two places even with falling revenue and Infineon re-entered Omdia's top ten vendor list.

Omdia labelled Intel's performance as a triumph of a diversified business model. Intel achieved no growth in its core microprocessor business in 2019 but did grow in other segments. Its sales of logic chips rose 7.1 percent, Omdia said. Four out of five of Intel's business divisions achieved growth and the Mobileye division, focused on autonomous driving increased sales 25.9 percent. There was more modest growth in the Data Center Group (2.1 percent) and the IoT Group (10.6 percent).

Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp. came 13 in Omdia's ranking and achieved stunning growth of 30.9 percent. Sony has long been the leader in CMOS image sensors

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