Worldwide semiconductor revenue grew 21.6% in 2017: Gartner

Gartner predicts that the company's lead will be short-lived and will disappear when the memory market goes into its bust cycle, most likely in late 2019.

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According to a report by research firm Gartner, driven by strong growth in the memory market, worldwide semiconductor revenue totaled $420.4 billion in 2017, a 21.6 percent increase from 2016 revenue of $345.9 billion.

Worldwide semiconductor revenue grew 21.6% in 2017: Gartner

 

"2017 saw two semiconductor industry milestones - revenue surpassed $400 billion and Intel, the No. 1 vendor for the last 25 years, was pushed into second place by Samsung Electronics," said George Brocklehurst, Research Director at Gartner. "Both milestones happened due to rapid growth in the memory market as undersupply drove pricing for DRAM and NAND flash higher," he added. Qualcomm slipped to fifth place with $16,099 million (3.8 percent market share) in revenue.

The memory market surged nearly $50 billion to reach $130 billion in 2017, a 61.8 percent increase from 2016 and Samsung's memory revenue alone increased nearly $20 billion in 2017, moving the company into the top spot in 2017.

However, Gartner predicts that the company's lead will be short-lived and will disappear when the memory market goes into its bust cycle, most likely in late 2019.The booming memory segment overshadowed strong growth in other categories in 2017.

"Non-memory semiconductors grew $24.8 billion to reach $290 billion, representing a growth rate of 9.3 percent," the report said. The combined revenue of the top 10 semiconductor vendors increased by 30.6 percent during 2017 and accounted for 58 percent of the total market, outperforming the rest of the market, which saw an 11 percent revenue increase. Growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) is having a significant impact on the semiconductor market, with application-specific standard products (ASSPs) for consumer applications up by 14.3 percent and industrial ASSPs rising by 19.1 percent in 2017.

"Semiconductors for wireless connectivity showed the highest growth with 19.3 percent in 2017, and topping $10 billion for the first time, despite reduced component prices and the static smartphone industry," Gartner said.

 

To recall, Gartner sais that Samsung and Apple together consumed $81.8 billion of semiconductors in 2017, an increase of more than $20 billion from 2016.

Eight of the top 10 companies in 2016 remained in the top 10 in 2017, with the top five chip buyers remaining in the same positions (see Table 1). LG Electronics returned to the top 10 and was joined by newcomer Western Digital, which grew its semiconductor spending by $1.7 billion in 2017. BBK Electronics rose one place to the sixth position, increasing its semiconductor spending by $5.7 billion.

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Semiconductor spending by the top 10 OEMs increased significantly, and their share reached 40 percent of the total semiconductor market in 2017, up from 31 percent 10 years ago. This trend is expected to continue, and Gartner predicts that, by 2021, the top 10 OEMs will account for more than 45 percent of total global semiconductor spending.

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