After a worldwide economic recession, the semiconductor market rallied in 2010 with worldwide revenue reaching a landmark $300.3 billion in 2010, up 31.5 percent from 2009, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc.
"In 2010, the semiconductor market was driven by pent-up demand as system makers scrambled against depleted inventories to obtain parts," said Stephan Ohr, semiconductor research director at Gartner. "Manufacturers - both integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and foundries - scrambled to put new capacity in place. With slowing demand and a weakening consumer confidence in the third quarter, lead times are coming down and inventories are slowly starting to build. Still, semiconductor vendors are working on fulfilling backlog orders, and 2010 will go on record as a banner year for the semiconductor industry."
In 2010, the semiconductor market rebounded from a 10 percent revenue decline in 2009. Overall semiconductor industry revenue grew $71.9 billion in 2010 ? the largest single dollar increase for the semiconductor industry in any one year. Only three times in its past ? in 1988, 1995 and 2000 ? has semiconductor industry revenue grown by more than 30 percent in any one year. This year, the industry topped $300 billion, long regarded as a benchmark achievement for the industry.
Intel held the No. 1 vendor position for the 19th consecutive year in 2010, albeit with a slightly smaller share of the market, down to an estimated 13.8 percent from 14.2 percent in 2009 (see Table 1). 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, but third quarter growth weakened as consumer sentiment began to flag. Sales of mini-notebooks - a segment for which Intel is almost the exclusive supplier - were particularly disappointing.
Samsung Electronics, Toshiba and Texas Instruments all performed well in 2010 to retain their respective rankings of Nos. 2, 3 and 4. Samsung enjoyed a strong growth year due to its exposure to the booming DRAM and NAND flash markets. Memory accounts for over 80 percent of the company's sales. Toshiba grew its NAND flash memory business for mobile devices, as well as its discrete, ASIC and ASSP device businesses. Texas Instruments had a banner year with the company's overall semiconductor revenue growing 35.2 percent, and its analog revenue increasing more than 41 percent.
A new entrant to the top 10 was Renesas Electronics, at No.5 following the merger of NEC Electronics and Renesas Technology on April 1, 2010. Also in the top 10, Micron Technology rose five places to No.8, largely as a result of its acquisition of Numonyx, which allowed it to capture the last three quarters of Numonyx sales in calendar 2010.