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Top 20 IC Ranking: Apple Rises Most

TOKYO — IC Insights unveiled this week its forecast for 2016 top 20 global semiconductor sales ranking.

Unsurprisingly, Intel is forecast to maintain the number one position in the top-20 ranking. The CPU giant is expected to “increase its lead over Samsung’s semiconductor sales from only 24% in 2015 to 29% in 2016,” according to the market research firm.

Surprisingly, a company expected to show the biggest upward mobility in the global semiconductor sales ranking is no traditional chip vendor — it's Apple. Apple is forecast to jump up three positions in the 2016 ranking compared with 2015.

IC Insights called Apple “an anomaly,” since the company designs and uses its processors for internal use only. The research firm pegs Apple’s custom ARM-based SoC processors at a “sales value” of $6.5 billion in 2016, which will place them in the 14th position in the forecasted top-20 ranking.

Other companies that are forecast to make noticeable upward move in the ranking are MediaTek and Nvidia, with each company expected to improve by two positions.

(Source: IC Insights)

(Source: IC Insights)

The top-20 2016 semiconductor companies, as a whole, are expected to register a 3% increase this year. Jumping out of the crowd are five companies — Nvidia, MediaTek, Apple, Toshiba and TSMC, as they are forecast to display a double-digital growth in 2016.

In particular, Nvidia and MediaTek are the two fastest growing semiconductor companies, with Nvidia increasing its sales at the rate of 35 percent and MediaTek at 29 percent.

In contrast, those expected to register a double-digit decline are: SK Hynix, Micron, Globalfoundries and NXP.

As the semiconductor industry’s M&A trend continues, the hurdle for becoming a part of the elite top-20 club is getting higher.

IC Insights pointed out, “Nine of the top-20 companies are forecast to have sales of at least $10.0 billion this year. As shown, it is expected to take about $4.5 billion in sales just to make it into the 2016 top-20 semiconductor supplier list.”

This trend isn't likely to stop. When Qualcomm’s purchase of NXP is completed in late 2017, the combined annual semiconductor sales of the two companies will likely be over $25 billion, according to IC Insights.

To read the rest of this article, visit EBN sister site EE Times.

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