After years of coming close to breaking into the top-10
global semiconductor rankings, AMD may finally hit the big time before the end of 2006, according
to a preliminary ranking from iSuppli Corp. AMD's semiconductor revenue is
expected to explode by a stunning 90 percent in 2006, which will cause the
company's ranking to jump eight places, making it the world's seventh-largest
chip maker for the year.
Memory maker Hynix also cracks the list just behind AMD at
number eight. Hynix set to achieve a 32.5 percent increase in revenue, pushing
its ranking up three positions to take the eighth position in 2006.
“This marks the first time in the six years iSuppli has been
compiling annual semiconductor rankings that AMD and Hynix have rated among the
top 10,” said Dale Ford, vice president, market intelligence services for iSuppli.
“This is an impressive accomplishment for both companies.”
The strong performance of the two companies comes amid
renewed strength in worldwide semiconductor sales for the year. iSuppli's
revised estimate for semiconductor sales in 2006 foresees revenue of $258.5
billion, up 9 percent from $237.3 billion in 2005.
AMD's revenues in 2006 are expected to increase to $7.5
billion, up $3.6 billion from $3.9 billion in 2005. AMD's rapid rise in revenue
this year is due to strong growth in its microprocessor sales, combined with
its acquisition of
ATI Technologies in October. AMD is expected to achieve approximately 37.5
percent growth in its microprocessor revenue in 2006 on the strength of its
highly popular dual-core products.
South Korean memory chip maker Hynix in 2006 achieved semiconductor
revenue of $7.4 billion, up $1.8 billion from $5.6 billion in 2005, driven by
surging sales of its lines of DRAM and NAND-type flash memory. iSuppli projects
Hynix’s DRAM revenue will grow by $1.1 billion in 2006 and its NAND flash
revenue will rise by $770 million.
In comparison, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. is expected to
see its memory revenue increase by a smaller amount in 2006, at a $1.77 billion
“Hynix’s achievement of surpassing the much-larger Samsung
in terms of dollar growth in memory chip revenue in 2006 represents a
considerable accomplishment,” Ford said.
Infineon Technologies AG of Germany dropped out of the
top-10 rankings in 2006 due to the spin-off of its memory business, now called
Qimonda AG. If Infineon and Qimonda had not been split in 2006, the combined
company would have seen its revenue grow by 29.5 percent and it would have
moved to fourth place, up from sixth in 2005. As separate companies, Qimonda is
projected to rank No. 12 and Infineon 14th in 2006.
Intel Corp., Renesas Technology and NEC are the only
semiconductor companies among 2005’s top 10 to see their revenues decline in
2006. Intel’s revenue decline will leave the company with its lowest share of
the market since before 2000, at 12.1 percent. NEC will drop out of the top 10
due to its expected annual revenue decline of 0.2 percent.
iSuppli projects that the global semiconductor market will
grow by 9 percent in 2006 based on iSuppli’s quarterly semiconductor market
share research of 110 leading semiconductor suppliers. Memory chips are driving
the growth of the industry with projected annual growth of 21.5 percent for the
year. DRAM is the key factor propelling memory IC revenue expansion in 2006
with forecasted growth of 32 percent.
Microprocessor revenues will decline by 6.6 percent for the
year due to aggressive market-share battles that are driving down prices.
However, sales revenue for digital signal processors will rise by 6.6 percent
for the year.