Recently, IC Insights, a world-renowned semiconductor data analysis organization, updated its second-quarter report. The report analyzes the market shares of major semiconductor suppliers, excluding pure-play foundries. Although there is a small double-counting effect on IDM foundry revenue, it is not enough to significantly change the overall conclusion.

In 2021, the top 50 semiconductor suppliers excluding pure-play foundries will account for 89% of the total global semiconductor market of $614.6 billion, an increase of 8 percentage points from the 81% share of the top 50 companies in 2010. 

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The top 5, top 10 and top 25 companies will increase their share of the global semiconductor market in 2021 by 8, 9, and 11 percentage points, respectively, compared to 2010. With more mergers and acquisitions expected in the next few years, IC Insights believes that mergers could increase the share of top suppliers to even higher levels.

In 2017, the semiconductor industry’s No. 1 supplier moved for the first time since 1993. In 1993, Intel was the number one supplier with a 9.2 percent global semiconductor market share. In 2017, Intel’s sales accounted for 13.9% of the entire semiconductor market, compared to Samsung’s 3.8% global semiconductor market share in 1993 and 14.8% in 2017. Samsung’s rise to No. 1 in semiconductor sales in 2017 has more to do with its rapid market share gains than Intel’s loss of market share.

In 2019, the memory market declined sharply by 32%, bringing the overall semiconductor market down by 12%. Since 77% of Samsung’s semiconductor sales that year were memory devices, the slump in the memory market dragged down the company’s total semiconductor sales by 29%. 

Although Intel’s semiconductor sales were relatively flat in 2019, the company regained its No. 1 position as a semiconductor supplier that year (pictured below). However, Samsung regained the No. 1 spot in 2021 with a 33% increase in sales, while Intel’s sales rose 1%.

In addition to foundries, there are two new entrants to the top 10 in 2021 – Taiwan-based fabless MediaTek and US-based fabless AMD. The two companies replaced Apple and Infineon in the top 10 in last year’s ranking. MediaTek’s sales rose a staggering 61%, moving the company up to three positions (from No. 11 to No. 8), while AMD’s sales rose 68% in 2021, from No. 14 rose to 10th place.

In 2021, five of the top 10 semiconductor suppliers are fabless companies, two more than in 2019. There was only one fabless company (Qualcomm) in the 2008 ranking, and there was none in 2000. The top 10 companies will each have sales of at least $16.4 billion in 2021.

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