Market research firm IHS Markit reported on May 29 that global semiconductor sales totaled US$101.2 billion in the first quarter of this year with a year-on-year decline of 12.9 percent, the steepest decline since the second quarter of 2009.
The rapid decline can be attributed to a slump in the global memory chip market. The non-memory sales fell only 4.4 percent from a year ago in Q1 this year.
Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor sales dropped no less than 34.6 percent during the same period due to a decline in demand and an increase in inventory. Besides, the price of memory chips plunged with the single item accounting for 84 percent of the company’s entire semiconductor business in Q1. The sales of SK Hynix and Micron Technology fell 26.3 percent and 22.5 percent, respectively. The memory market sales dropped 25 percent from the previous quarter and the decline in sales amounted to 26.1 percent in the DRAM market and 23.8 percent in the NAND flash market.
Intel’s sales edged down 0.3 percent from a year earlier and the company remained the largest player in the industry for the second consecutive quarter. In Q1, memory chips represented only 6 percent of its sales and it could avoid the market slump. Still, its microprocessor business was affected by demand and inventory factors in the PC business, enterprise business and cloud computing sectors.
Broadcom, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments came in fifth, sixth and seventh in the sales rankings, respectively. Infineon Technologies moved up three notches to eighth.