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Monday, November 26, 2018

Broadcom tops Qualcomm in fabless figures

By Nick Flaherty

Qualcomm has dropped in the rankings of top fabless chip design houses after its failed bid for NXP, being overtaken by a resurgent Broadcom, according to the latest Q3 figures by TrendForce.

The other nine companies in the top ten all registered year-on-year growth in their revenue, driven by segments like networking, data centre, automotive application and consumer electronics.
Nvida also showed 32% overall growth to take the number 3 slot, benefiting from strong momentum in segments like gaming, professional vision, data center and automotive applications. Particularly, a remarkable revenue growth of 65.3% YoY was recorded for Nvidia's data centre IC business in the third quarter.

“Qualcomm has adopted an aggressive product strategy, introducing five new processors with different market positioning by the end of the third quarter,” said senior analyst CY Yao from TrendForce. The slowdown in the global smartphone market has resulted in lower prices, leading to a drop in Qualcomm’s revenue.

Following Nvidia, Marvell registered the second highest revenue growth after the acquisition of Cavium to grow 28.2%, surpassing Xilinx.

Taiwanese design houses MediaTek, Novatek, and Realtek all showed significant growth from demand from consumer electronics makers for the upcoming holiday sales. MediaTek has recovered from the revenue decline since the second quarter this year and grew by 3% in the third quarter.
Mediatek has allocated more capacity to its products on 12nm process and improved the cost structure of processors. It turned out to achieve a gross margin of 38.5% in the third quarter, the highest quarterly margin since 2016. On the other hand, Novatek’s SoC products received wider market reception, benefited from the favorable demand from global TV market. As for Realtek, it showed a growth of 7.9% YoY in the third quarter, driven by the growing networking market in China and the coming of year-end sales.

Looking ahead to 4Q18 and 1Q19, Qualcomm will continue to deploy its aggressive product strategy in segments like RF transceiver components, automotive electronics and the Internet of Things. However, it remains to be seen whether the product adjustments can moderate the loss brought by the slowdown in the global smartphone market, says Yao. On the other hand, MediaTek has entered a period of stable development after one year of adjustments in operation and product portfolio, despite the impacts from lower smartphone sales.

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