U.S. Chip Firms Continue to Dominate Global IC Market

Intel 9th Gen core. Credit: IntelIntel 9th Gen core. Credit: Intel

According to a new report by IC Insights, United States-based chip companies had more than 50% in market share in 2018, which was far more than any other region. U.S. fabless chip companies accounted for 68% of the global fabless market, while American integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) accounted for 46% of the global IDM share. (IDMs are companies with their own fabs, like Intel.)

Credit: IC InsightsCredit: IC Insights
South Korean companies, led by Samsung and SK Hynix, had a little more than a quarter of the global market share -- 27% market share, which was up from 24% a year prior. Taiwanese and European firms had 6% market share each. However, the ranking doesn’t include Taiwanese foundries such as TSMC, which dominate the foundry industry.

According to IC Insights, both the Taiwanese and the Chinese companies have a weak presence in the IDM market, while U.S. companies show a much stronger balance in regards to IDM, fabless, as well as total IC industry market share.

IC Insights said that the South Korean companies gained market share last year due to the peak average sale prices we saw on RAM and NAND flash chips. The South Korean companies increased their revenue by 26% in 2018, which beat the industry average increase in global IC sales of 14%.

However, IC Insights also predicted that due to the drastic decline in RAM and NAND memory chip prices, the South Korean chip companies would have worse sales growth than any other region. The research firm expects South Korean companies to see a 30% decline in sales in 2019, on top of the major decline they saw in the second half of 2018.