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Thread: U.S. Companies Maintain Largest Share of Fabless Company IC Sales

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    U.S. Companies Maintain Largest Share of Fabless Company IC Sales

    China-based companies show the largest fabless IC marketshare gain since 2010

    Research included in the March Update to the 2018 edition of IC Insights’ McClean Report shows that fabless IC suppliers accounted for 27% of the worlds IC sales in 2017 - an increase from 18% ten years earlier in 2007. As the name implies, fabless IC companies do not operate an IC fabrication facility of their own.

    Figure 1 shows the 2017 fabless company share of IC sales by company headquarters location. At 53%, U.S. companies accounted for the greatest share of fabless IC sales last year, although this share was down from 69% in 2010 (due in part to the acquisition of U.S.-based Broadcom by Singapore-based Avago). Broadcom Limited currently describes itself as a co-headquartered company with its headquarters in San Jose, California and Singapore, but it is in the process of establishing its headquarters entirely in the U.S. Once this takes place, the U.S. share of the fabless companies IC sales will again be about 69%.


    Figure 1

    Taiwan captured 16% share of total fabless company IC sales in 2017, about the same percentage that it held in 2010. MediaTek, Novatek, and Realtek each had more than $1.0 billion in IC sales last year and each was ranked among the top-20 largest fabless IC companies.

    China is playing a bigger role in the fabless IC market. Since 2010, the largest fabless IC marketshare increase has come from the Chinese suppliers, which captured 5% share in 2010 but represented 11% of total fabless IC sales in 2017. Figure 2 shows that 10 Chinese fabless companies were included in the top-50 fabless IC supplier list in 2017 compared to only one company in 2009. Unigroup was the largest Chinese fabless IC supplier (and ninth-largest global fabless supplier) in 2017 with sales of $2.1 billion. It is worth noting that when excluding the internal transfers of HiSilicon (over 90% of its sales go to its parent company Huawei), ZTE, and Datang, the Chinese share of the fabless market drops to about 6%.



    Figure 2

    European companies held only 2% of the fabless IC company marketshare in 2017 as compared to 4% in 2010. The loss of share was due to the acquisition of U.K.-based CSR, the second-largest European fabless IC supplier, by U.S.-based Qualcomm in 1Q15 and the purchase of Germany-based Lantiq, the third-largest European fabless IC supplier, by Intel in 2Q15. These acquisitions left U.K.-based Dialog ($1.4 billion in sales in 2017) and Norway-based Nordic ($236 million in sales in 2017) as the only two European-based fabless IC suppliers to make the list of top-50 fabless IC suppliers last year.

    The fabless IC business model is not so prominent in Japan or in South Korea. Megachips, which saw its 2017 sales jump by 40% to $640 million, was the largest Japan-based fabless IC supplier. The lone South Korean company among the top-50 largest fabless suppliers was Silicon Works, which had a 15% increase in sales last year to $605 million.


    Report Details: The 2018 McClean Report
    Additional details on fabless IC company sales and other trends within the IC industry are provided in the March Update to The McClean Report - Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry (released in January 2018). A subscription to The McClean Report includes free monthly updates from March through November (including a 250+ page Mid-Year Update, and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year. An individual-user license to the 2018 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $4,290 and includes an Internet access password. A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $7,290.


    To review additional information about IC Insights’ new and existing market research reports and services please visit our website: IC Insights | Semiconductor Market Research.


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    Last edited by Daniel Nenni; 03-22-2018 at 01:55 PM.
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    Dan, have you run across any research of this type on contract mems fabs and who the players are in this area? This and other forms of nanotech should be high growth areas for contract fabs that already have customer platforms in place and a large transferable related IP base. Any comments or thoughts on this would be appreciated. Excellent report by the way, keep them coming.

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    What does that pie graph look like when you put in the country of fabrication, not just the country where the design is owned?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Hanson View Post
    Dan, have you run across any research of this type on contract mems fabs and who the players are in this area? This and other forms of nanotech should be high growth areas for contract fabs that already have customer platforms in place and a large transferable related IP base. Any comments or thoughts on this would be appreciated. Excellent report by the way, keep them coming.
    Arthur, the only research about MEMS (or CMOS Imager to be precise) that I have seen is from French based company YOLE "announcing a US$11.6 billion market in 2016 with 10,5% CAGR between 2016 and 2022", see YOLE pdf, I am not sure that they rank the fabs manufacturing CIS in the report.
    That I know is that the fab #1 is SONY, then come Samsung and ...TSMC!
    If you talk about pure play foundries, it seems that TSMC is the #1, as Sony and Samsung also manufacture for their own product needs.

    MEMS is clearly a large and fast growing semi segment, thanks to mobile (market size) and automotive (market growth). BTW, I will chair a DAC session dedicated to CIS IP, see: CIS IP session

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    Last edited by Eric Esteve; 04-18-2018 at 09:11 AM.
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