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Fabless IC Company Sales Top $100 Billion for First Time Ever

Published: Jan 07,2018

IC Insights released a listing of the 2017 top 50 fabless IC suppliers. Figure shows the top 10 ranking of fabless IC suppliers for 2017. Two China-based fabless companies made the top 10 ranking last year—HiSilicon, which sells most of its devices as internal transfers to smartphone supplier Huawei, and Unigroup, which includes the IC sales of both Spreadtrum and RDA.

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Unlike the relatively close annual market growth relationship between fabless IC suppliers and foundries, fabless IC company sales growth versus IDM (integrated device manufacturers) IC supplier growth has typically been very different. The first time IDM IC sales growth outpaced fabless IC company sales growth was in 2010 when IDM IC sales grew 35% and fabless IC company sales grew 29%.

Since very few fabless semiconductor suppliers participate in the memory market, the fabless suppliers did not receive much of a boost from the surging DRAM and NAND flash memory markets in 2010, which grew 75% and 44%, respectively. However, the fabless IC suppliers once again began growing faster than the IDMs beginning in 2011 and this trend continued through 2014.

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