According to market research firm IC Insights on March 25, Chinese fabless semiconductor companies’ global market share rose from 5% to 11% from 2010 to 2017, when they accounted for one-fifth of the global top 50.
During the same period, American companies’ market share fell from 69% to 53% with Broadcom acquired by Singapore-based Avago Technologies. Taiwanese companies’ edged down from 17% to 16% and European companies’ fell from 4% to 2%.
The 10 Chinese companies that joined the top 50 list last year include HiSilicon, Tsinghua Unigroup, ZTE Microelectronics and Datang. Back in 2009, HiSilicon had been the only Chinese company on the list.
Meanwhile, the market share of South Korean companies, which have almost no presence in the non-memory semiconductor market, is estimated at less than 1%. Japanese companies’ market share remained at 1% during the period.
Silicon Works, an LG subsidiary, was the only South Korean company on the top 50 list last year, when this company’s sales rose 15% year on year to US$615 million. Likewise, MegaChips increased its sales by 40% to US$640 million to become the only Japanese company on the list.
“Most South Korean fabless semiconductor companies are small in size, which means it is almost impossible for them to increase their market shares alone,” said Ahn Ki-hyun, managing director at the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association, adding, “They need to grow together by means of collaboration.”