Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is to fall one place to become the world’s fourth-biggest chipmaker this year due to slower revenue growth, IC Insights said.
The market research firm also expects Samsung to extend its number one ranking and sales lead over Intel to 19%.
TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, lost its third-place ranking to South Korean memorychip supplier SK Hynix Inc, which ranked fourth last year.
The expected top-15 worldwide semiconductor (IC and O-S-D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 2018 is shown in the figure below.
In 2Q18, Toshiba completed the $18.0 billion sale of its memory IC business to the Bain Capital-led consortium. Toshiba then repurchased a 40.2% share of the business. The Bain consortium goes by the name of BCPE Pangea and the group owns 49.9% of Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC). Hoya Corp. owns the remaining 9.9% of TMC’s shares. The new owners have plans for an IPO within three years. Bain has said it plans to support the business in pursing M&A targets, including potentially large deals.
As a result of the sale of Toshiba’s memory business, the 2018 sales results shown below include the combined sales of the remaining semiconductor products at Toshiba (e.g., Discrete devices and System LSIs) and NAND flash sales from Toshiba Memory Corporation.
In total, the top-15 semiconductor companies’ sales are forecast to jump by 18% in 2018 compared to 2017, two points higher than the expected total worldwide semiconductor industry 2018/2017 increase of 16%. The three largest memory suppliers—Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron—are each forecast to register greater than 25% year-over-year growth in 2018 with SK Hynix expected to log the highest growth among the top-15 companies with a 41% surge in sales this year. All of the top-15 companies are expected to have sales of at least $8.0 billion in this year, two companies more than in 2017.
The largest move upward in the ranking is forecast to come from Western Digital/San Disk, which is expected to move up three spots to the 12th position. In contrast, NXP is expected to fall two places to 13th with a sales increase of only 1% this year. However, the worst-performing company in the ranking is forecast to be Qualcomm with a semiconductor revenue decline of 3% this year, the only top-15 company expected to register a drop in sales.
Intel was the number one ranked semiconductor supplier in 1Q17 but lost its lead spot to Samsung in 2Q17. It also fell from the top spot in the full-year 2017 ranking, a position it had held since 1993. With the strong surge in the DRAM and NAND flash markets over the past year, Samsung is forecast to go from having 7% more total semiconductor sales than Intel in 2017 to having 19% more semiconductor sales than Intel in 2018.
Memory devices are forecast to represent 84% of Samsung’s semiconductor sales in 2018, up three points from 81% in 2017 and up 10 points from 71% just two years earlier in 2016. Moreover, the company’s non-memory sales in 2018 are expected to be only $13.3 billion, up only 6% from 2017’s non-memory sales level of $12.5 billion. In contrast, Samsung’s memory sales are forecast to be up 31% this year and reach $70.0 billion.
The top-15 ranking includes one pure-play foundry (TSMC) and three fabless companies. If TSMC were excluded from the top-15 ranking, Taiwan-based MediaTek would have been ranked in the 15th position with forecasted 2018 sales of $7.9 billion, up only 1% from 2017.