Worldwide semiconductor revenues are forecast to total US$401.4 billion in 2017, an increase of 16.8% from 2016, according to Gartner. This will be the first time semiconductor revenues have surpassed US$400 billion.
The semiconductor market reached the US$300 billion milestone seven years ago in 2010, and surpassed US$200 billion in 2000, said Gartner.
“A shortage of memory is creating a boom in the overall semiconductor market,” said Andrew Norwood, research VP at Gartner. “Memory vendors have been able to increase their price for DRAM and NAND, driving revenue and margins higher.”
The booming memory market, with revenue forecast to increase 52% in 2017, is expected to shake up semiconductor market share rankings. “As the largest memory supplier, Samsung Electronics is set to gain the most,” noted Norwood. “This gives Samsung its best shot at capturing the No. 1 position from Intel for the first time.”
Intel dethroned NEC for the No. 1 position in semiconductor rankings in 1992, and has held it ever since. Samsung captured the No. 2 position in 2002 and has held that since.
“What the memory market gives, the memory market takes away,” Norwood continued. “The memory bubble is expected to go bust in 2019 as memory vendors add new supply and Samsung could lose a lot of the gains it makes this year and next.”