Worldwide semiconductor revenue fell 11% in 2023

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Worldwide semiconductor revenue fell be 11 per cent in 2023 to total $533bn, according to preliminary results from Gartner.

“While the cyclicality in the semiconductor industry was present again in 2023, the market suffered a difficult year with memory revenue recording one of its worst declines in history,” said Alan Priestley, VP Analyst at Gartner. “The underperforming market also negatively impacted several semiconductor vendors. Only 9 of the top 25 semiconductor vendors posted revenue growth in 2023, with 10 experiencing double-digit declines.”

The combined semiconductor revenue of the top 25 semiconductor vendors declined 14.1% in 2023, accounting for 74.4% of the market, down from 77.2% in 2022.

Following the underperformance of memory vendors in 2023, the ranking of the top 10 semiconductor vendors changed year-over-year.

Intel reclaimed the No.1 spot from Samsung, after two years in the No. 2 position. Intel’s 2023 revenue totalled $48.7bn while Samsung’s revenue reached $39.9bn.

Nvidia’s 2023 semiconductor revenue grew 56.4% to total $24bn, and saw the company enter the top five for the first time ever - due, in no small part, to its leading position in the artificial intelligence (AI) silicon market.

STMicroelectronics moved up three slots to secure the No. 8 spot – the same position it held in 2019. Its revenue increased 7.7% in 2023, largely driven by a strong position in the automotive segment.

Revenue for memory products declined 37% in 2023, experiencing the biggest decline of all the segments in the semiconductor market.

“Smartphones, PCs and servers, three of the largest segments for DRAM and NAND, faced weaker than expected demand and excess channel inventory, especially in the first half of 2023,” explained Joe Unsworth, VP Analyst at Gartner.

In 2023, DRAM revenue declined 38.5% to total $48.4bn and NAND flash revenue decreased from 37.5% to $36.2bn.

Nonmemory revenue fared better and declined by a more modest 3% in 2023. The market witnessed weaker demand and excess channel inventory negatively impacted the segment throughout the year.

“Unlike the memory vendors, most non-memory vendors experienced a relatively benign pricing environment in 2023,” said Unsworth. “The demand for non-memory semiconductors for AI applications was the strongest growth driver, with the automotive sector (especially electric vehicles), defence and aerospace industries, also outperforming most other application segments.”