Intel, Samsung tighten grip on semiconductor market

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Intel and Samsung are carving up more than a quarter of the semiconductor market between them, new research has claimed.

In its annual report into the semiconductor market, Gartner found global revenue in 2016 hit $343.5 billion, up 2.6 percent from the previous year.

The top 25 companies benefited from combined revenue growth of 10.5 percent, far outpacing that of the wider industry, but activity was largely fuelled by mergers and acquisitions.

Intel stayed in the top spot, with revenues of $53.09 billion, up 4.6 percent on the previous year and giving it a market share of 15.7 percent.

Second placed Samsung reported better growth of 5.9 percent, bringing its sales to $40.10 billion and giving it a market share of 11.7 percent.

Avago Technologies' takeover of Broadcom resulted in it being the big winner, with sales growth of 191.1 percent to $13.22 billion. It sat in fifth place, with a market share of 3.8 percent.

James Hines, Research Director at Gartner, said: "The semiconductor industry rebounded in 2016, with a weak start to the year, characterized by inventory correction, giving way to strengthening demand and an improving pricing environment in the second half.

"Worldwide semiconductor revenue growth was supported by increasing production in many electronic equipment segments, improving NAND flash memory pricing and relatively benign currency movements."

Qualcomm crept up one place to third even though its sales declined by 4.1 percent in 2016 to $15.42 billion. This outpaced the previous third placed company, SK hynix, which saw sales fall 10.2 percent to $14.70 billion.

Hines added: "The combined revenue of the top 25 semiconductor vendors increased by 10.5 percent during 2016 and accounted for a 74.9 percent share, outperforming the rest of the market, which saw a 15.6 percent revenue decline.

"However, these results are skewed by the large amount of M&A activity during 2015 and 2016. If we adjust for this M&A activity by adding the revenue of each acquired company to the revenue of the acquirer for both 2015 and 2016 where necessary, then the top 25 vendors would have experienced a 1.9 percent revenue increase, and the rest of the market would have increased by 4.6 percent."