The global semiconductor market nearly grew 13 percent on-year last year, propelled by growth in the memory sector. Samsung Electronics Co. maintained the number one spot in the world with a 15.9 percent market share. SK Hynix Inc. ranked third in terms of sales and recorded a 38.2 percent increase in sales on-year, showing the highest growth rate among the top 10 semiconductor companies.
IT research firm Gartner released preliminary results of global semiconductor sales for last year on Jan. 7. Global semiconductor sales stood at US$476.7 billion (533.9 trillion won) last year, up 13.4 percent from 2017, according to the report. The ratio of memory chips in total semiconductor sales increased from 31 percent in 2017 to 34.8 percent in 2018, taking up the largest part.
Samsung Electronics saw its semiconductor sales come to US$75.9 billion (85 trillion won) last year with a 15.9 percent market share, leading the global market. The company’s sales grew 26.7 percent on-year last year.
SK Hynix also posted US$36.4 billion (40.8 trillion won) in sales and 7.6 percent in market share last year. The company’s sales increased 38.2 percent compared to a year earlier, showing the highest growth rate among the top 10 semiconductor firms in the world.
Memory semiconductors recorded a sales growth of 27.2 percent and accounted for 35 percent of the semiconductor market in 2018. They accounted for the largest share of the semiconductor market and showed the highest growth rate at the same time. This was because the average unit sales price of DRAMs steadily rose for most of last year, except for the fourth quarter, according to Gartner.
In contrast, NAND flash was struggling with a lower average unit sales price due to an excessive supply in the memory sector last year. With the increase in levels of SSD adoption and smartphone content, however, it had a 6.5 percent sales growth.
Gartner suggested the possibility of slow growth in the memory sector and changes in company rankings in the semiconductor market this year and asked to brace for limited growth.