Semiconductor market booms in 2010

The semiconductor market dusted itself off after a global economic recession, hitting a landmark revenue of $300.3 billion in 2010, up 31.5 percent from 2009.

According to a Gartner report, this year the semiconductor market rebounded from a 10 percent revenue decline in 2009 with overall semiconductor industry revenue growing by $71.9 billion. This was the largest single dollar increase for the semiconductor industry in any one year.

It added that there were only three past occasions – in 1988, 1995 and 2000 – where semiconductor industry revenue  had grown by more than 30 percent in a year.

Growth was driven by “pent-up demand” as system makers scrambled against depleted inventories to obtain parts and integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and foundries, scrambled to put new capacity in place.

It added that semiconductor vendors are still working on fulfilling backlog orders,  this partly resulted to the record year the industry has had.

Intel reigned above the rest, holding the number one vendor position for the 19th consecutive year.

However, Gartner points out that it has a slightly smaller share of the market, down to an estimated 13.8 percent from 14.2 percent in 2009.

Despite this, 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, but third quarter growth weakened as consumer sentiments began to flag.

Sales of mini-notebooks, a segment for which Intel is almost an exclusive supplier, were particularly disappointing.


Samsung, Toshiba and Texas Instruments also did well this year clinging onto their respective rankings of two, three and four.

Samsung was boosted by its exposure to the booming DRAM and NAND flash markets, while Toshiba grew thanks to its NAND flash memory for mobile devices.

Texas Instruments raked in a semiconductor revenue of 35.2 percent. Its analogue revenue also grew by 41 percent.

Renesas Electronics was a new entry at number five following the merger of NEC Electronics and Renesas Technology, while icron Technology rose five places to number eight. Gartner said this was largely as a result of its acquisition of Numonyx, which allowed it to capture the last three quarters of Numonyx sales in 2010.