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Friday, June 03, 2016

TI extends its lead in the top ten analogue semiconductor companies

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk


The 2015 analogue market grew 2% to $47.0 billion, a positive sign set against the recent fall sin the overall, memory-led market. Even though it has a dominant 18% market share, Texas Instruments grew faster than the market at 3% and is by far the dominant supplier.

Combined sales of general-purpose analogue products such as amplifiers/comparators, interface, power management and signal conversion devices increased 2% to $19.1 billion and sales of application-specific analogue devices also improved 2% to $27.9 billion. The market for signal conversion devices showed the largest increase in 2015, growing 14% to $2.9 billion.

IC Insights’ ranking of the top analogue IC suppliers for 2015 show the top ten accounted for 56% of global analogue sales last year, down slightly from 57% in 2014. Among the top suppliers, only tenth-ranked Renesas fell short of the $1.0 billion mark. With a 10% increase, NXP’s analogue sales outperformed the total analogue market by the widest margin, while ST saw the biggest drop at 13%..




TI’s analogue sales slightly surpassed the combined revenue of the next three-largest analog suppliers, and represented 69% of its total semiconductor revenue last year. TI has always been a major player in analogue, but beginning in 2009, it doubled down on its long-term efforts to dominate this market segment says IC Insights. That year, TI became the first company to manufacture analog devices on 300mm equipment. It purchased 300mm manufacturing tools from defunct Qimonda and transferred it to its existing fabs in Texas to build analogue chips. In 2010, TI acquired two wafer fabs operated by Spansion in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Japan, and a fully equipped 200mm fab in Chengdu, China from Cension Semiconductor Manufacturing. Both facilities were converted and immediately put to use making analog ICs. In April 2011, TI acquired National Semiconductor—its rival in many analogue markets—for $6.5 billion.

TI also strengthened its analogue position by transitioning to 300mm manufacturing capacity at its newer RFAB and its older DMOS 6 fabs. Aside from boosting its manufacturing capacity, moving to 300mm wafer helped reduce total production costs by 40%, according to the company.

Other changes seen in the 2015 ranking include Infineon moving up one place to become the second-largest analogue supplier and Skyworks Solutions moving up two spots. ST slipped from #2 in 2014 to #5 in the 2015 ranking following its 13% decline in analogue sales, which it attributed to soft equipment sales (computer, consumer, automotive, industrial) among its primary customers. Collectively, Infineon, NXP, and ST—Europe’s three-largest IC suppliers—accounted for 15% analogue marketshare last year.

Skyworks continues to enjoy solid analogue sales due to design wins with smartphones providers around the world. Skyworks Solutions makes analogue and mixed signal semiconductors for Apple, Samsung, and other suppliers of mobile devices. Many of Skyworks’ power amplifier components are found in Apple’s iPhone 6 models. It has been estimated that Skyworks supplies $4 worth of content for every iPhone 6 handset.

Although highly focused in mobile markets, Skyworks plans to expand into the automotive, home, and wearable markets to develop its presence in applications linked to the Internet of Things. Analogue chips such as audio amplifiers, op amps, and analog switches are building blocks for creating wearable applications. Skyworks’ wireless technology is used in General Electric healthcare equipment, and the company recently sealed a deal to supply high-performance filter solutions to Panasonic.

Analog Devices’ analogue sales grew 2% last year with one of its key devices enabling the 3D/Force Touch capability in the Apple Watch, the latest iPhones, and new generations of the iPad. This uses tiny electrodes to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press to trigger contextually specific controls.

Things are also looking up for the market, as IC Insights forecasts the total analogue market to grow 4% this year, reaching $49.1 billion and surpassing the $50.0 billion mark for the first time in 2017 as analogue sales climb to an expected $51.4 billion. From 2015 to 2020, the analogue market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6%, one point higher than the total IC market.

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