The top-15 worldwide semiconductor (IC and O-S-D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 1H18 is shown in Figure 1. It includes seven suppliers headquartered in the U.S., three in Europe, two each in South Korea and Taiwan, and one in Japan. After announcing in early April 2018 that it had successfully moved its headquarters location from Singapore to the U.S. IC Insights now classifies Broadcom as a U.S. company.
The top-15 ranking includes one pure-play foundry (TSMC) and four fabless companies. If TSMC were excluded from the top-15 ranking, U.S.-based Apple would have been ranked in the 15th position. Apple is an anomaly in the top company ranking with regards to major semiconductor suppliers. The company designs and uses its processors only in its own products—there are no sales of the company’s MPUs to other system makers. IC Insights estimates that Apple’s custom ARM-based SoC processors and other custom devices had a “sales value” of $3.5 billion in 1H18.
Overall, the top-15 list shown in Figure 1 is provided as a guideline to identify which companies are the leading semiconductor suppliers, whether they are IDMs, fabless companies, or foundries.
In May 2018, Toshiba completed the $18.0 billion sale of its memory IC business to the Bain Capital-led consortium. Toshiba then repurchased a 40.2% share of the business. The Bain consortium goes by the name of BCPE Pangea and the group owns 49.9% of Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC). Hoya Corp. owns the remaining 9.9% of TMC’s shares. The new owners have plans for an IPO within three years. Bain has said it plans to support the business in pursing M&A targets, including potentially large deals.
As a result of the sale of Toshiba’s memory business, the 2Q18 sales results shown in Figure 1 include the combined sales of the remaining semiconductor products at Toshiba (e.g., Discrete devices and System LSIs) and the new Toshiba Memory’s NAND flash sales. The estimated breakdown of these sales in 2Q18 is shown below:
- Toshiba System LSI: $468M
- Toshiba Discrete: $315M
- Toshiba Memory Corporation: $3,107M
- Total Toshiba/Toshiba Memory Corporation 2Q18 Sales: $3,890M
Intel was the number one ranked semiconductor supplier in 1Q17 but lost its lead spot to Samsung in 2Q17 as well as in the full-year 2017 ranking, a position it had held since 1993. With the continuation of the strong surge in the DRAM and NAND flash markets over the past year, Samsung went from having only 1% more total semiconductor sales than Intel in 1H17 to having 22% more semiconductor sales than Intel in 1H18!