There are not many highlights in the 2011 semiconductor sales ranking; only four of the 20 largest chip companies were able to post double-digit growth rates.
Intel which has held the top spot in the IHS/iSuppli ranking for as long I can remember, had to watch Samsung eat away market share over the past recent years. However, Intel is posting a big comeback in 2011 as the manufacturer added 23 percent to its $40.4 billion 2010 chip revenue and is expected to land at $49.7 billion this year. The gain of $9.3 billion is about two and half times the chip 2011 revenue of Nvidia.
Samsung increased its revenue by just 3.0 percent to $29.2 billion. Other big gainers in the 2011 ranking are Qualcomm in sixth place (+39.9 percent to $10.1 billion), Nvidia in 20th (+14.9 percent to $3.7 billion) and ON Semiconductor in 19th place (+49.4 percent to $3.4 billion). The average revenue increase among the Top 20 in 2011 was 3.5 percent, while ten of them suffered revenue losses. Among the losers are Elpida (-40.2 percent), Panasonic (-32.0 percent) and Micron (-17.3 percent).
"In a challenging year for the semiconductor market, Intel achieved success on all fronts, expanding its core microprocessor and memory businesses, while also capitalizing on a major acquisition," said Dale Ford, analyst at IHS. "This allowed the company to outgrow the market and expand its lead over its closest competitors, defying the impact of weak economic conditions and catastrophic natural disasters in Japan and Thailand."
According to IHS, Intel benefited from the acquisition of Infineon's wireless solutions business, which increased the firm's chip business. Samsung, on the other hand, is the world's leading DRAM manufacturer and is sailing through a cruel 27 percent forecasted DRAM market decline.