Worldwide semiconductor revenue rebounds in 2020: Gartner

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 14, 2021

Up 7.3% to $449.8 bn y-o-y; Intel led the market, followed by Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, Micron, Qualcomm

Worldwide semiconductor revenue rebounded in 2020 reaching $449.8 billion, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc.

Revenues rebounded in 2020, up 7.3 per cent from 2019, as per the report.

“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,” Norwood said.

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“Server demand was strong as hyperscale customers, which in 2020 accounted for over 65 per cent 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,” he added.

Top players

Intel retained its position as the No. 1 global semiconductor vendor by revenue in 2020 with a 15.6 per cent market share. It was followed by Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and Micron with market shares of 12.5 per cent, 5.6 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively. Qualcomm came in fifth at 4 per cent.

Intel’s semiconductor revenue grew 3.7 per cent, driven by the growth of its core client and server CPU businesses, as per the report.

“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,” Gartner said.

Memory was the best performing device category in 2020. The category was positively impacted by 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, accounting for 44 per cent of the overall semiconductor revenue growth in 2020.

Within memory, NAND flash performed the best with revenue growth of 23.9 per cent amounting to $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 per cent 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,” it said.

Published on January 14, 2021

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