Worldwide semiconductor revenue up 7.3% in 2020

Thursday, January 14th, 2021 
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Gartner Says Worldwide Semiconductor Revenue Grew 7.3% in 2020

STAMFORD, Conn. — Following a decline of 12% in 2019, worldwide semiconductor revenue rebounded in 2020 to total $449.8 billion, an increase of 7.3% from 2019, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc.

“In early 2020, the expectation was that COVID-19 would have a negative impact across all end equipment markets, but the actual effect was more nuanced,” said Andrew Norwood, research vice president at Gartner. “Automotive, industrial and some areas of the consumer market were hit hard by reduced enterprise and consumer spending. However, lockdowns vastly increased work from home and e-learning, and any markets that facilitated those activities benefited.

“Server demand was strong as hyperscale customers, which in 2020 accounted for over 65% of server demand, rushed to add capacity to cope with extra demand during lockdowns in the first half of 2020. Additionally, strong demand for PCs from enterprises and consumers due to increased work and study from home led to strong growth in CPUs, NAND flash and DRAM.”

Intel retained its position as the No. 1 global semiconductor vendor by revenue in 2020, followed by Samsung Electronics, SK hynix and Micron (see Table 1). Intel’s semiconductor revenue grew 3.7%, driven by growth of its core client and server CPU businesses. Despite a slowdown in the overall smartphone market, strong sales of 5G smartphones helped propel semiconductor companies, such as Qualcomm and MediaTek, to strong growth in 2020. The growth of 5G is offsetting the weaker system unit growth with increased semiconductor dollar content, including higher-ASP 5G chipsets and additional RF front-end components and power management ICs.

Table 1. Top 10 Semiconductor Vendors by Revenue, Worldwide, 2020 (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

2020  2019                              2020  2020 Market     2019   2019-2020
Rank  Rank  Vendor                   Revenue    Share (%)  Revenue  Growth (%)
----  ----  -----------------------  -------  -----------  -------  ----------
1     1     Intel Corp.               70,244         15.6   67,754         3.7
2     2     Samsung Electronics       56,197         12.5   52,191         7.7
3     3     SK hynix                  25,271          5.6   22,297        13.3
4     4     Micron Technology         22,098          4.9   20,254         9.1
5     6     Qualcomm                  17,906          4.0   13,613        31.5
6     5     Broadcom                  15,695          3.5   15,322         2.4
7     7     Texas Instruments         13,074          2.9   13,364        -2.2
8     13    MediaTek                  11,008          2.4    7,959        38.3
9     14    KIOXIA                    10,208          2.3    7,827        30.4
10    16    Nvidia                    10,095          2.2    7,331        37.7
            Others(outside top 10)   198,042         44.0  191,236         3.6
            -----------------------  -------  -----------  -------  ----------
            Total Market             449,838        100.0  419,148         7.3

Source: Gartner (January 2021)

Memory Accounted for 44% of Revenue Growth

Memory, the best performing device category in 2020, benefited from the increased server build and PC and ultramobile demand from the shift to home working and learning. Worldwide memory revenue increased $13.5 billion in 2020, which accounts for 44% of the overall semiconductor revenue growth in 2020.

Within memory, NAND flash experienced the best performance with revenue growth of 23.9%, reaching $52.8 billion, up $10.2 billion from 2019. Supply was particularly limited in 2020, which caused prices to surge during the first half of 2020, limiting the overall annual price decline to a modest 2% in 2020. While demand was strong from hyperscale customers and PC OEMs, the pandemic impact did result in oversupply conditions during the second half of 2020, which tempered overall annual revenue growth.

Links: Gartner