Analysts IC Insights’ top 10 ranking of semiconductor suppliers shows that Freescale (distributed by Arrow ), which ranked 11th in the full-year 2004 listing, replaced Philips as the 10th largest semiconductor supplier in the world in Q1. Philips fell to number 12, being passed by Sony, as well.
Further, the firm said that given the three companies’ outlooks for Q2, Freescale is likely to remain the 10th largest supplier for the first half. IC Insights noted that Freescale’s 1 percent sequential semiconductor sales increase for the quarter contrasted Philips’ near 9 percent decline and, under the conditions, said the company’s performance should be recognised as “excellent”.
Freescale wasn’t the only company on its way up. Toshiba also made some moves in Q1, climbing from seventh place for IC Insights’ full-year 2004 ranking to fourth on a 14 percent sales surge. Moreover, the firm noted that Toshiba expects its fiscal year 2005 sales, ending March 2006, to increase 11 percent (in yen) over fiscal year 2004, which ended March 2005.
The news was not as bright for the major European semiconductor suppliers—Infineon, ST and Philips—which registered a quarter-over-quarter semiconductor sales decline average of 10.1 percent. The firm reported that even with a slightly positive boost from exchange rate conversions from euros to US dollars, Infineon registered a 10.6 percent revenue decline, ST 10.5 percent and Philips an 8.7 percent fall.
The real competition for 2005, IC Insights said, will continue to be in the fourth through seventh spots, as the top three positions—held by Intel, Samsung and Texas Instruments—are unlikely to change from the 2004 ranking. The positions are currently held by Toshiba, Renesas, Infineon and ST. The firm noted, however, that Toshiba and ST are separated by less than US$200 million ($260 million) in sales, making the middle spots of the ranking too close to call at this time for the full year.
Looking ahead to the full year, IC Insights was very positive noting that the top 10 suppliers appear very likely to register positive 2005/2004 growth.