Boosted by its acquisition of Sanyo’s semiconductor business, ON Semiconductor registered a 49% sales increase last year and moved into the top 25 ranking for the first time. Qualcomm, spurred by a 73% increase in smartphone unit shipments last year, logged a strong 38% increase in semiconductor sales in 2011. At the other end of the spectrum was Elpida, which registered a steep sales drop of 40%, or 45% when expressed in yen.
Although 15 of the top 25 semiconductor sales leaders posted negative results last year, in total, the top 10 and top 25 semiconductor suppliers grew 7% and 4%, respectively, in 2011 as compared to 2010. These growth rates were much better than the 2% increase shown in the worldwide 2011/2010 semiconductor market.
Intel remained firmly in control of the number one spot in the ranking last year. Helped by its acquisition of Infineon’s wireless IC business, Intel extended its lead over second-ranked Samsung by registering 48% more in semiconductor sales than Samsung in 2011 as compared to a 24% margin in 2010.
Healthy growth in its graphics and communications processor business helped Nvidia jump five positions and move the company to 18th place in the top 25 ranking. In contrast, Elpida fell six spots in the ranking last year (from 13th to 19th) as the collapse in the DRAM market had a disastrous effect on the company. In fact, Elpida lost almost $1.2 billion in the second half of calendar 2011 and filed for bankruptcy in 1Q12.
In contrast to 2010, memory companies did not secure the top growth rate positions in the ranking in 2011. Non-memory suppliers logged the top six growth rate increases last year. For ON, Qualcomm, and Intel 2011 semiconductor sales growth rates were significantly boosted by company and/or business segment acquisitions.
Of the big five memory suppliers in the top 25 ranking (Samsung, Toshiba, Hynix, Micron, and Elpida), only Samsung saw growth