Six of the top 10 semiconductor manufacturers performed worse last year than the overall chip industry, which saw unprecedented sales declines because of the economic downturn, a market research firm said.
While Intel remained the market leader in terms of revenue, rival Advanced Micro Devices, which has suffered a string of quarterly losses amounting to billions of dollars, slipped from No. 10 in 2007 to No. 12 last year, iSuppli reported.
Eight of the top 10 manufacturers suffered revenue declines, as many of the suppliers focused on the worst-performing market segments, including memory, digital signal processors, analog integrated circuits, and standard logic, iSuppli said. Of the top 25 chipmakers, 60% experienced revenue declines compared with 2007.
Among the nearly 300 companies covered in iSuppli's semiconductor rankings, 43% were able to achieve flat to positive growth last year, an indication that the top 10 suppliers significantly underperformed their smaller rivals.
"It’s not always good to be the king, as shown by the results of most of the top semiconductor suppliers in 2008," Dale Ford, senior VP of market intelligence services for iSuppli, said in a statement.
The six manufacturers that underperformed the overall industry were No. 2 Samsung Electronics, No. 3 Toshiba, No. 4 Texas Instruments, No. 6 Renesas Technology, No. 7 Sony, and No. 9 Hynix Semiconductor, iSuppli said. All of the vendors had revenue declines greater than the industry's 5.2% drop from 2007.
The biggest decline was suffered by NXP Semiconductors at 29.4%, because of the spinoff of its wireless chip business. The next biggest decliners were Samsung, Sony, and Renesas.
The top 25 suppliers that managed to expand revenue last year were No. 5 STMicroelectronics, No. 8 Qualcomm, No. 11 NEC Electronics, No. 14 Broadcom, No. 15 Panasonic, No. 18 Sharp Electronics, No. 20 Rohm, No. 22 Marvell Technology Group, No. 23 MediaTek, and No. 24 Fujitsu Microelectronics.
The market segments that saw revenue growth last year were optical components, standard linear integrated circuits, programmable logic devices, microprocessors, and sensors/actuators. These products saw sales increases between 1% and 6%, iSuppli said. Wired communications and industrial electronics were the only end-market segments to see increased revenue for 2008, with growth between 2% and 3%.
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