According to a recent study, the worldwide semiconductor market experienced double-digit growth in 1999. Data from GartnerGroup's Dataquest survey indicates that last year's total revenue topped $160 billion. That's a 17.6% increase over 1998's figures. Perhaps more significantly, the study pointed out, this is the first time the industry has enjoyed double-digit growth since 1995. Experts say this is a sign that the troubles of a couple of years ago are finally over.
Joe D'Elia, chief analyst of Dataquest's Semiconductors Europe program, says that the firming up of the DRAM market was a key factor driving this growth. He also cited the Taiwan earthquake, which tripled spot market prices in a matter of days. These prices then decreased just as rapidly, but simultaenously accelerated the rise of contract pricing.
All of the geographical regions that produce semiconductors are taking part in this growth as well, explained Ron Bohn, director of research for Dataquest's semiconductor group. But he also pointed out that the drivers for growth in each region vary. For example, the Internet has been a contributing factor in most regions, but it has had the most significant impact in the Americas.
Dataquest also evaluated the performance of the top 10 semiconductor vendors. Intel ran away from the pack with $25.8 billion in revenue—that's $16 billion more than the second-place NEC. When it comes to percentages, though, Samsung's 49.5% growth led the way. Motorola was the only company in the top 10 to report negative growth, down 9.4%. But analysts attribute this to the firm's divesting of a major product division and product line (see the table).
These top 10 companies also accounted for 52.4% of the total market. Intel's 16.1% share blew away the other nine companies, who only had 3.1% to 5.8% each. That 52.4% total also translates to about $83.9 billion. Meanwhile, the companies in the remaining 47.6% enjoyed 18.4% growth. Interestingly enough, that's better than the industry-wide 17.6% average.
For more information or a copy of the complete study, visit the GartnerGroup web site at www.gartner.com, or Dataquest's site at www.dataquest.com.