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Spencer Chin | Apr 06, 2022
Supply-chain issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have not adversely affected semiconductor industry revenue, according to a study by market research firm Omdia. In fact, semiconductor industry revenue topped half a trillion dollars in revenue, evidence that the demand for chips remains strong as product and technology development continues.
Omdia noted that Samsung has maintained its position atop the semiconductor industry in Q4 2021, when it generated $19.85 billion in revenue, edging out Intel which generated $19.976 billion. But overall, Intel topped the revenue charts in 2021, generating $76.6 billion, comprising 13% of all semiconductor revenue for the year.
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According to Omdia, Intel’s 2021 revenue growth was nearly flat from 2020, which contrasted with the following top nine semiconductor firms, which all experienced year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth above 15%.
Samsung maintains lead
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According to Omdia, microprocessor units, Intel’s main revenue source, grew at an overall rate of 11% year-over-year in 2021, which trailed the overall semiconductor growth level of 24%.
Samsung, which was second to Intel with sales of $75.2B, finished the year strong thanks to strong sales of DRAM and NAND components. Those sectors were up 42% and 23% in 2021, according to Omdia. Samsung is the industry’s leading supplier of both DRAMs and NANDs.
According to Omdia, total 2021 semiconductor industry revenue of $586.8 billion was $100 billion more than the next highest year on record, 2018, when the industry brought in $484.7 billion. Year-over-year revenue growth in 2021 was 24.2%, the second-highest on record since Omdia began tracking the metric in 2002.
"Year-over-year growth in 2021 is significant because the prior year was not a recovery year, but an above-average year with 10.4% growth," Leimbach said, adding that the long-term year-over-year growth for the semiconductor market is 6.8%." (See illustration.)
Of the 247 companies surveyed by Omdia, 145 (59%) had annual semiconductor revenue growth greater than 20% in 2021. The strong 2021 was not specific to a few of the largest semiconductor firms but spread through the majority of players in the industry.
"Demand continues to be strong in the work-from-home era brought about by the global pandemic and supply tight for many components," said Craig Stice, Chief Semiconductor Industry Analyst at Omdia. "Supply shortages throughout the semiconductor landscape resulted in rising ASPs, which helped lift revenue. The resulting strong annual revenue was significantly above the historical average, 24.2% versus 6.8%."
A Touch Act to Follow?
2021 may not be easy to top. Whether the industry can maintain its robust 2021 growth levels is open to debate. Shortages of semiconductors and other electronic components have so far shown no sign of easing so far, and no relief is expected for at least another year. But 2022 has started in a fairly promising manner, as the SIA (Semiconductor Industry Association) announced last month that semiconductor industry sales were $50.7 billion in the month of January 2022, up 26.8% over the January 2021 total of $40.0 billion, though 0.2% less than the December 2021 total of $50.9 billion.
The SIA in February projected global semiconductor industry sales to grow 8.8% over 2021, as suppliers bring more capacity online to meet pent-up demand.
In January, Intel announced it would build two chip fabs in Licking County, Ohio, investing $20 billion. The project spans nearly 1,000 acres and is the largest private sector investment in Ohio industry.
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