Worldwide semiconductor revenue totalled $255-billion in 2008, down 5,4%, or a decrease of $14,5-billion from 2007 revenue.
According to the final market share analysis by Gartner, the steep decline in the market in the final quarter of 2008, combined with the ongoing economic weakness, signals worse declines in 2009.
"While sales held up fairly well in the first half of 2008, in the third quarter the industry started to soften as the economy slowed, and by the fourth quarter sales were deteriorating quickly, causing revenue growth to go into negative territory," says Peter Middleton, principal research analyst at Gartner. "With the market heavily impacted by the recession, we can expect considerable market consolidation going forward."
Gartner's annual semiconductor market share analysis examines and ranks the worldwide and regional revenue for more than 275 semiconductor suppliers, in 65 product categories, and eight major market categories. It serves as a benchmark for both semiconductor industry performance, as well as a means for individual companies to assess their revenue performance against their competitors.
Intel held the number one position for the 17th consecutive year, increasing its market share to 13,3% in 2008, although it saw its revenue decline by 0,5% – a consequence of spinning off its NOR flash memory business. The company outperformed the industry average due to the strong performance of its notebook business in which it gained share throughout the year.
The best performer among the 2008 top 10 in Gartner's market share analysis was Qualcomm, with growth of 15,3%. This growth was driven by a strong first three quarters of the year, but Qualcomm felt the impact of the economic downturn in the fourth quarter of 2008 as carriers and OEMs reduced its inventory of code division multiple access (CDMA)-based devices and chipsets.
Samsung, the number two vendor, saw its revenue decline 15% in 2008 with the company's main product lines, DRAM and NAND flash experiencing sharp price declines caused by excess supply in the market during 2008.
Toshiba, in the number three position, saw its revenue decrease 10,3%, largely because its application-specific integrated circuit (ASICs) and application-specific standard products (ASSPs) for consumer, wireless and automotive electronics showed mild growth in early 2008, but the market went into free-fall in the second-half due to the global economic downturn.