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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Qualcomm and Samsung Pass AMD in Processor Sales


A slowdown in notebook and desktop personal computer purchases coupled with strong growth in smartphones and tablet PCs knocked AMD down to fourth place in microprocessor sales in 2012, according to a new ranking of MPU suppliers by IC Insights.

The list shows most leading suppliers of mobile processors based on ARM technology moving higher in the ranking while PC-dependent x86 MPU companies?Intel and AMD?continued to lose marketshare in 2012.

Among the MPU leaders, only top-ranked Intel and fourth-place AMD sell central processors built with x86 microarchitectures for standard notebook and desktop PCs running Windows operating system software from Microsoft. The remaining top 10 suppliers develop and sell mobile MPUs with RISC processor cores licensed from ARM in the U.K.

IC Insights: Leading MPU suppliers by sales, 2011-12 (US$m)
2012 rank
Company
2011
2012
Sales Y/Y
2012 market share
Main product lines
1
Intel
37,435
36,892
(1%)
65.3%
x86 PC, server MPUs
2
Qualcomm
4,152
5,322
28%
9.4%
ARM mobile app processors
3
Samsung*
2,614
4,664
78%
8.2%
ARM mobile app processors
4
AMD
4,552
3,605
(21%)
6.4%
x86 PC, server MPUs
5
Freescale
1,210
1,070
(12%)
1.9%
ARM and embedded MPUs
6
Nvidia
591
764
29%
1.4%
ARM mobile app processors
7
TI
510
565
11%
1.0%
ARM mobile app processors
8
ST-Ericsson**
660
540
(18%)
1.0%
ARM mobile app processors
9
Broadcom
295
345
17%
0.6%
ARM mobile app processors
10
MediaTek
280
325
16%
0.6%
ARM mobile app processors

*Includes Apple's custom processors made by Samsung's foundry business
** Handset IC JV to be dissolved by STMicroelectronics and Ericsson by 3Q13
Source: IC Insights, May 2013

Moving ahead of AMD in the 2012 microprocessor ranking were Qualcomm, the cellphone IC sales leader that?s been primarily successful in selling cellphone application processors, and Samsung, which in addition to its own ARM-based processors is the sole foundry source for Apple?s custom-designed MPUs for its iPad tablet PCs and iPhone handsets. Sales of Qualcomm?s ARM-based Snapdragon system-on-chip (SoC) processors increased 28% in 2012 to $5.3 billion, increasing its MPU marketshare to 9.4% and moving it to second place in the ranking from third in 2011. Samsung (with Apple?s MPU foundry business) moved to third place in the 2012 ranking from fourth in 2011 with a 78% increase in MPU sales. About 83% of Samsung's $4.7 billion in MPU revenues in 2012 came from Apple?s processors.

Intel remained the dominant leader in microprocessor sales but its share slipped to 65.3% of the MPU market compared to 67.3% in 2011 and 68.6% in 2010, based on IC Insights' analysis of suppliers. AMD?s share of microprocessor sales fell to 6.4% in 2012 compared to 8.2% in 2011 and 9.6% in 2010, according to the new MPU ranking, which was recently released to subscribers of IC Insights? McClean Report 2013. Slowing sales of legacy PCs caused AMD to announce in late 2012 that it would be the first MPU supplier sell microprocessors built with x86 and ARM architectures?initially for server computers?starting in 2014.

The $56.5 billion microprocessor market continued to be the largest single semiconductor product category in 2012, accounting for 22% of total IC sales. However, microprocessor sales growth slowed to 2% in 2012 following a strong 19% increase in 2011. IC Insights is forecasting a 10% increase in total MPU sales in 2013 to $62.0 billion. During 2012, strong increases in mobile application processors used in cellphones and tablet PCs offset a 6% decline in MPU sales for desktop and notebook PCs, servers, and embedded-processor applications. Between 2012 and 2017, total MPU sales are projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12%, reaching $97.7 billion in the final year of the forecast.

Sales SoC application processors in cellphones accounted for 22% of worldwide MPU sales in 2012 compared to 14% in 2010, while tablet microprocessors represented 4% of the total in 2012 versus a little under 1% in 2010, which was the year Apple launched its first iPad products and dramatically changed portable computing in the consumer PC market.


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