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Intel semiconductor market share reaches 10 year high

Intel semiconductor market share reaches 10 year high

Intel has attained its highest annual market share in more than 10 years, according to a report from information and analytics provider IHS iSuppli. IHS says Intel's success has been boosted by strong sales growth in its core chip businesses and its acquisition of Infineon's wireless business unit.

IHS reports that Intel increased its overall semiconductor market share to 15.6% in 2011 – a year on year increase of 2.5%. This represents the highest market share for Intel since 2001 when it achieved 14.9%. Over the last five years, the chip behemoth's share of the market ranged from 11.9% to 13.9%.

"Intel in 2011 captured the headlines with its major surge in growth," said Dale Ford, head of electronics and semiconductor research for IHS. "The company's rise was spurred by soaring demand for its pc oriented microprocessors and for its NAND flash memory used in consumer and wireless products. Intel's revenue also was boosted by its acquisition of Infineon's wireless business unit. The company's strong rise helped it to stave off the rising challenge mounted by number two semiconductor supplier Samsung Electronics, which had been whittling away at Intel's lead in recent years."

IHS states that in 2011, Intel in 2011 saw its revenue jump by 20.6%. This outpaced every other semiconductor supplier in the Top 20 with the exception of Qualcomm and ON Semiconductor, both of which also saw exceptionally high levels of growth based on a combination of organic expansion and key acquisitions.

Until 2011, Samsung had been steadily closing the gap with Intel, with its share of global semiconductor market revenue rising from 3.9% in 2000 to 9.2% in 2010. Samsung's revenue growth of 0.6% in 2011 left its overall market share unchanged at 9.2% in 2011.

Based on the completed results of IHS iSuppli's 2011 market share research, global semiconductor market growth for 2011 has been measured at 1.3% - down slightly from the analyst's preliminary estimate of 1.9% growth, which was publicly released on 1 December.

A weak sequential growth of negative 5.9% in Q4 2011 pulled the full year results down. However, the market was still able to escape with overall positive growth, as consistently projected by IHS iSuppli in its forecasts throughout the year.
Among the other Top 10 semiconductor suppliers, Qualcomm achieved 41.6% growth, propelling it up the rankings to number six in 2011, up from number nine in 2010. This increase gave Qualcomm a 3.3% market share in 2011, putting it close behind number five, Renesas Electronics, which had a 3.4% share.

Among the Top 25 suppliers, ON Semiconductor also saw a major boost in its market position by jumping eight positions to number 18, up from number 26 - the largest climb in the rankings by a top 25 company.

Illustrating the weakness of the semiconductor market in 2011, 52.6% of the 302 chip suppliers tracked by IHS increased their revenue in 2011 and achieved growth.

Overall, companies headquartered in the Americas saw the greatest improvement to their semiconductor revenues among all regions, at 7.5% growth. In comparison, revenue fell 7.2% as a whole for Japanese firms, which suffered from the impact of the 2011 earthquake.

Chris Shaw

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