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Memory Sector Drives Semiconductor Sales in 2013
Friday, January 03, 2014 | IHS

Following a 2.5 percent decline in 2012, the global semiconductor market has regained its footing in 2013 with revenue set to expand by nearly 5 percent because of the strong performance of the memory sector.

Global semiconductor sales in 2013 will amount to $317.9 billion, up 4.9 percent from $302.9 billion in 2012, according to preliminary estimates from the Semiconductor Value Chain service at IHS. Market growth is being driven by the strong expansion of the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and NAND flash memory markets, which are expected to rise by 35.0 percent and 27.7 percent, respectively, in 2013.

Partly because of its success in the booming DRAM and NAND markets, U.S.-based Micron Technology Inc. will grow by an industry-leading 109.2 percent in 2013, catapulting the company up the semiconductor market’s ranks to No. 4 in 2013, rising from No. 10 in 2012.

Memory chips have come to the rescue of the semiconductor business in 2013. In particular, solid pricing and expanding demand for DRAM and NAND in smartphones and tablets have caused revenue for these memory devices to surge. Without these two high-performing product segments, the semiconductor industry would attain zero growth this year.

Big growth for Micron

Micron is expected to end the year with $14.2 billion in semiconductor revenue, more than doubling its $6.8 billion total in 2012. In addition to its success in DRAM and NAND, Micron’s growth in 2013 is being propelled by its acquisition of Elpida Memory.

Out of the more than 150 semiconductor suppliers tracked by IHS, no other company will grow more than Micron in 2013. Micron’s share of the total semiconductor market will more than double to 4.5 percent in 2013, up from 2.2 percent in 2012.

Also benefiting from the memory boom is SK Hynix of South Korea, whose chip revenue is on track to expand by 48.7 percent in 2013. The company will jump to No. 5 in the semiconductor market rankings in 2013, up from No. 7 in 2012. SK Hynix’s performance is all the more outstanding since it was entirely driven by organic sales growth—and not by any acquisitions.

Qualcomm closes in on market leaders

Qualcomm Inc.’s incredible success in the wireless world continues to drive it to the top of the semiconductor industry. The U.S. company is set to attain 31.6 percent semiconductor growth in 2013, causing it to gain1.2 percentage points of share and take 5.5 percent of total semiconductor market revenue. No. 3-ranked Qualcomm’s strong growth in 2013 will allow it to narrow its market share gap with industry leaders Intel Corp. and Samsung.


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