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December 19, 2011

Global semiconductor revenue reaches $302bn in 2011: study

Worldwide semiconductor revenue grew 0.9% from 2010

By CBR Staff Writer

A report by Gartner revealed that worldwide semiconductor revenue grew 0.9% from 2010, to reach $302bn in 2011.

Though semiconductor market started on a bullish trend in at the start of 2011, global economic worries slowed equipment and semiconductor orders in 2011, said the research firm.

Gartner semiconductor research director Stephan Ohr said the industry did well in the early part of the year, in many cases entering the year with backlog from an exuberant 2010. "But uncertainty about the state of the macroeconomy set in at the midpoint of the year. Consumers held off purchases, and infrastructure expansion plans languished as governments resisted assuming more debt. Equipment inventories began to build as the year progressed, with resulting ripples throughout the semiconductor industry," Ohr added.

Intel held the No. 1 slot for the 20th year consecutively and 2011 saw the company having its highest-ever market share at 16.9%. Its previous high was in 1998 when it clocked 16.3% of the market.

Intel saw strong growth in the first half of the year as the PC market stocked up inventory in anticipation of a strong second half of the year. Intel server products Westmere and Nahelem did well in 2011. Intel’s revenue for 2011 includes the wireless business unit (BU) purchased from Infineon in the first quarter of the year, a transaction worth about $1.4bn to Intel’s revenue in 2011.

Following behind at second position was Samsung Electronics, which saw its revenue grow slightly above the industry average, despite its exposure to the declining DRAM market.

Though Samsung’s NAND business witnessed strong revenue growth, its non-memory business was strongest growth area for the company, with application-specific devices, specially wireless applications processors. It also prospered because of its relationship with Apple, to whom it is supplying the A5 processor used in the iPhone 4s and iPad2 media tablets.

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Texas Instruments, at third position, has the strongest manufacturing capability in the analogue semiconductor industry, according to IDC.

The processor makers, including Intel, Qualcomm, Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia, did better than the rest of the industry.

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