Intel hangs on to No.1 rank in Q1

Intel hung on to its No.1 slot in Q1 although the gap with Samsung narrowed, reports ICInsights in its May Update to the 2021 McClean Report.

The top-15 worldwide Semiconductor (IC and O S D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 1Q21 is shown in Figure 1.

It includes eight suppliers headquartered in the U.S., two each in South Korea, Taiwan and Europe, and one in Japan.

The ranking includes six fabless companies (Qualcomm, Broadcom, Nvidia, MediaTek, AMD, and Apple) and one pure-play foundry (TSMC).

Intel hangs on to No.1 rank in Q1
Figure 1

If pure-play foundry TSMC was excluded from the ranking, Europe-based IDM NXP ($2,503 million in sales) would have been ranked 15th in the 1Q21 listing.

In total, the top-15 semiconductor companies’ sales surged by 21% in 1Q21 compared to 1Q20, three points greater than the total worldwide semiconductor industry 1Q21/1Q20 increase of 18%.

Fourteen of the top-15 companies had semiconductor sales of at least $3.0 billion in 1Q21.  As shown, it took almost $2.6 billion in quarterly sales to make it into the 1Q21 top-15 semiconductor supplier list.

MediaTek and AMD replaced HiSilicon and Sony in the top-15 listing.  HiSilicon, which was ranked 12th in the top-15 sales ranking in 1Q20, is the semiconductor design division of China-based telecommunications giant Huawei with over 90% of the company’s sales going to its parent company.  However, U.S. sanctions on Huawei/HiSilicon terminated the ability of HiSilicon to purchase ICs from its primary foundry TSMC beginning in 4Q20.

AMD’s year-over-year sales surged 93% in 1Q21, the highest growth rate of any of the top-15 companies, to move up seven spots in the ranking and into 11th place.  Moreover, the company expects its full-year 2021 sales to increase about 50%.

MediaTek also posted an incredible year-over-year sales increase of 90% in 1Q21 and jumped up six positions into 10th place.  Interestingly, the four highest year-over-year growth rates registered in 1Q21 were from fabless suppliers (AMD, MediaTek, Qualcomm, and Nvidia), each greater than 50%.

Thirteen of the top-15 semiconductor companies registered a double-digit year-over-year sales increase in 1Q21 while only one company—Intel—displayed a decline.

Illustrating Intel’s “drag” on the total growth rate of the top-15 semiconductor companies, the remaining 14 suppliers in the ranking registered a combined 1Q21/1Q20 sales jump of 29%, eight points higher than when Intel is included.

IC Insights includes foundries in the top-15 semiconductor supplier ranking since it has always viewed the ranking as a top supplier list, not a marketshare ranking, and realizes that in some cases the semiconductor sales are double counted.