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The Global Semiconductor Industry Reached $115.8 Billion in Q1 2018, IHS Markit Says

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Samsung Electronics continued to lead the semiconductor market, followed by Intel and SK Hynix

Global semiconductor industry revenue declined 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018 falling to $115.8 billion. Semiconductor industry performance was negatively affected by the declining sales and first-quarter seasonality in the wireless communications market. Other sectors, such as automotive and consumer semiconductors, experienced nominal market growth, according to IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.

The memory category experienced the highest growth of 1.7 percent in the first quarter, reaching $39.7 billion, as demand for memory components increased in the enterprise and storage markets. In fact, DRAM pricing and shipments both increased during the quarter, as strong demand for server DRAM continued to propel the semiconductor market. However, NAND began to show signs of softening, with slight revenue declines during the quarter, mainly due to single-digit price declines. “Even with the slight revenue decline during the quarter, the NAND market still achieved its second-highest revenue quarter on record, with strong demand coming from the enterprise and client solid-state drive markets,” said Craig Stice, senior director, memory and storage, IHS Markit.

Semiconductor market share

Led by its dominant position in the memory market, Samsung Electronics led the semiconductor industry in the first quarter of 2018, with 16.1 percent of the market, followed by Intel at 13.6 percent and SK Hynix at 7.0 percent. Quarter-over-quarter market shares were relatively flat, with no change in the top-three ranking list. However, on a year-over-year basis, Samsung supplanted Intel as the leading semiconductor company, compared to the first quarter of 2017.

Analog component sales for Texas Instruments, Maxim Integrated, ON Semiconductor and other companies with a strategic focus on industrial and automotive industries managed single-digit sales increases in the first quarter. In contrast, analog component revenue declined by double digits for Qualcomm, Skyworks Solutions, Oorvo and other companies targeting the wireless industry.

Memory IC companies — Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, Micron Technologies and Toshiba — continued to dominate the top ten semiconductor companies. Micron achieved the highest growth rate in the top ten, recording 9.8 percent growth in the first quarter, compared to the previous quarter. Qualcomm revenue fell 13.6 percent, which was the largest sequential drop, due to the weakness in the wireless communication market. Qualcomm and nVidia were the only two fabless companies remaining in the top ten.

Top ten semiconductors supplier growth rates by revenue

Source: Competitive Landscaping Tool Intelligence Service, Q1 2018.

© IHS Markit, 2018.

MU-Buy-Light Bit growth with 20nm Ramps=Short Term, But GMs Better, NAND Soft, Tweaking Estimates, Valuations

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

MU reported a solid NovQ driven by strong DRAM revenues and profitability, while NAND was lighter with flat margins. MU guided to a lighter FebQ top line with soft DRAM bit growth driven by 20nm shrink challenges. NAND continues to be challenging for MU, but we believe 16nm-TLC should help. Overall DRAM-NAND supply is tight and pricing stable – a major positive. Tweaking our estimates and reiterating Buy-$42PT into 2015E. Key takeaways below.

MU reported NovQ Revenues/EPS of $4.6B/$0.97 vs. consensus of $4.6B/$0.92, GM at 35.8%, ~50bps ahead of consensus, driven by strong DRAM. MU’s FebQ outlook was weaker with 20nm shrink tightening DRAM supply. Bottom-line DRAM-NAND supply continue to be tight in 1H15-a positive. Key takeaways:

#1-DRAM Margins strong but Bit growth Outlook Impacted by 20nm Transition – Implies tight DRAM- Solid DRAM Margins and ASPs – MU noted DRAM revenues up ~8% q/q, with DRAM ASPs up with demand in Enterprise-Server and MobileDRAM demand. But looking out into the FebQ, DRAM bit growth is expected to be down 8-12% q/q as 20nm transition crimps DRAM supply. We believe this is short term and DRAM supply will pick up into the MayQ and we expect 2H15 double-digit DRAM bit growth q/q post-20nm shrink. Three Key 2015E DRAM tailwinds for MU are 1) Key Server/MobileDRAM growing ~40%/55% y/y, driving better GM, 2) 20nm DRAM and 25nm-MobileDRAM shrinks driving accretive GM, 3) DDR4-now a 30% premium to DDR3, and 4) Inotera profit-sharing negotiations are still in process.

#2-NAND is still challenging with margins and eMCP, but 16nm ramp should help close gap with peers; stable pricing and strong demand commentary positive for SNDK-MU ramping 16nm NAND driving lower cost, offset by higher cost of eMCP (up 45% q/q). MU expects TLC 16nm NAND by April/May 2015.

2015-“All about DRAM-NAND Margin” – Improving Server-MobileDRAM Mix and any Potential NAND Improvement positive for GM-We believe the 20nm DRAM should be a positive tailwind especially as with low inventories, tighter DRAM supply with 20nm, and stable demand in NAND with 16nm-TLC by mid 2015, MU should potentially have some GM tailwinds.

Valuations at ~8x P/E- We are tweaking our 2Q15E (FebQ) from prior $4.9B/$1.00 to $4.27B/$0.85 our F15E from $20.4B/$4.21 to $18.7B/$3.97, and our F16E from $23.4B/$4.90 to $22.1B/$4.93. Reiterating Buy-$42PT, ~8.5x our F16E EPS of $4.93. MU trades at ~7.8x F16E EPS, a substantial discount to Semis and the peer group, with improving margins and cash flow. Note MU also has a significant ~$1B buyback not included in our estimates.

Company Update:
Guide-DRAM/NAND bits and ASPs – For the NovQ DRAM bit growth was up 8% and ASPs were up 1% while NAND bit growth was up 20% and ASPs were down 6%. MU guided FebQ DRAM bit growth at “down high single to low double digits” and ASPs at “flat to down low single digits,” while it guided NAND bit growth at “flat to down low single digits” and ASPs at “flat to down low single digits.” MU guided FebQ top line to $4.1B-$4.3B.

Valuations: MU continues to trade at a discount relative to the peer group (see table below).

$1B in Share Repurchases and the CFO Search – MU noted that it continues to engage in buybacks from the recent billion dollar authorization as well as convert reduction. While current CFO Ron Foster will be there until February 28, 2015, we believe the overall CFO search process is going well with a good list.

Content and Market Perspective – MU has noted it is seeing the trend from 400-450MB in 2013, to 700MB in 2014, to 1-1.4GB in 2015, and noted that we will see multiple 3GB and 4GB phones in 2015. The company also mentioned it is seeing similar phenomena on tablets with content increasing from 2GB to 3-4GB on the next gen offerings, all of which are a positive for supply/demand dynamics. DRAM industry bit growth is at low to mid 20s and NAND industry bit growth at high 30s to low 40s.

Other names mentioned in this report:
Inotera (3474-TW, NT$49.60, Not Rated)
Sandisk (SNDK, $95.13, Buy, PT$125)

Contact Information

Micron Technology Inc.

8000 S. Federal Way
Boise, ID, 83707

tele: 208-368-4000
fax: 208-368-4000

RF Micro Devices And TriQuint Semiconductor Announce Closing Date For Merger

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

RF Micro Devices, Inc. (Nasdaq: RFMD) and TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (Nasdaq: TQNT) today announced the two companies have received all necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals to move forward with their previously announced merger of equals and have set Wednesday, December 31, 2014, as the anticipated closing date for the transaction. Trading in the common stock of the new combined company, Qorvo, Inc., is expected to commence on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on January 2, 2015, under the stock ticker symbol “QRVO.”

TriQuint shareholders will receive 1.675 shares of Qorvo and RFMD shareholders will receive 1 share of Qorvo for each TriQuint or RFMD share held. At the closing of the transaction, the Company will execute a one-for-four reverse stock split.

About TriQuint
Founded in 1985, TriQuint Semiconductor (NASDAQ: TQNT) is a leading RF solutions supplier and technology innovator for the world’s top communications, defense and aerospace companies. People and organizations around the world need real-time, all-the-time connections; TriQuint products help reduce the cost and increase the performance of connected mobile devices and the networks that deliver critical voice, data and video communications. With the industry’s broadest technology portfolio, recognized R&D leadership, and expertise in high-volume manufacturing, TriQuint creates standard and custom products using gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium nitride (GaN), surface acoustic wave (SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW) technologies. The company has ISO9001-certified manufacturing facilities in the U.S., production in Costa Rica, and design centers in North America and Germany. For more information, visit

About RFMD
RFMD (Nasdaq: RFMD) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance radio frequency solutions. RFMD’s products enable worldwide mobility, provide enhanced connectivity, and support advanced functionality in the mobile device, wireless infrastructure, wireless local area network (WLAN or Wi-Fi), cable television (CATV)/broadband, Smart Energy/advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), and aerospace and defense markets. RFMD is recognized for its diverse portfolio of semiconductor technologies and RF systems expertise and is a preferred supplier to the world’s leading mobile device, customer premises, and communications equipment providers. RFMD is an ISO 9001-, ISO 14001-, and ISO/TS 16949-certified manufacturer with worldwide engineering, design, sales and service facilities. For more information, please visit RFMD’s web site at

Global 3D ICs Market to Grow at 18.1% CAGR from 2013 to 2019

Friday, November 21st, 2014
A new market study published by Transparency market Research (TMR), a US based market intelligence firm, forecasts that the global 3D ICs market will grow at a healthy CAGR of 18.1% between the years 2013 and 2019. Growing at this pace, this market that valued US$2.4 billion in 2012 is expected to cross US$7.52 billion by 2019. Factors such as rising demand for electronics products that operate at exceptionally swift speeds, consume lower power, feature reduced response time, and have smaller chip size will fuel future demand for 3D ICs, states the report.
The report, titled “3D ICs Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2013 – 2019”, is available at the company’s website for sale.
TMR analysts state that industries that have close ties with the 3D ICs market, including consumer electronics and information and communication technology (ICT), will significantly contribute towards growth of the global 3D ICs market during the forecast period. Other than these important end-user industries, the market will also greatly benefit due to rising demands from transport, military, biomedical applications and R&D industries.
In 2012, the global 3D ICs market generated a major portion of its revenues, an estimated 24.2%, due to demands from the ICT industry. In the future as well, benefits of 3D ICs in enhancing storage capacity and bandwidth capabilities of high performance networking devices will help the market in fetching increased demands from the ICT industry. An emerging ICT industry in the Asia Pacific will lead this regional 3D ICs market to the top market position. 3D ICs market of the Asia-Pacific accounted for nearly 40.7% revenue shares of the market in 2012.
The report studies the various product types that currently use 3D ICs, and the ones that are expected to deploy 3D IC integration techniques in increased numbers in the future. These include RF SiP, logic (3D SiP/SoC), MEMS and sensors, memories, HB LED, and optoelectronics and imaging. Amongst these, the products logic (3D SiP/SoC), memories and MEMS and sensor collectively accounted for nearly 67.6% share of revenues in the year 2012.
Emerging opportunities in the global 3D ICs market, coupled with high growth potential, have prompted many semiconductor and packaging businesses to venture in the field. This has made the competition more intense making new entrants operate amid stiff pressures. A few big companies, including Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Xilinx Inc., and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. (TSMC), have the dominant market positions. Collectively, these companies accounted for nearly 54.5% shares of revenues in 2012, with TSMC leading amongst the three.
Browse the full Global 3D ICs Market (MEMS and sensors, RF SiP, Optoelectronics and imaging, Memories, Logic, HB LED) – Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2013 – 2019 report at
Other major companies operating in the market, and profiled by the report, include United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), TEZZARON Semiconductor, STATS ChipPAC Ltd., Ziptronix, Inc., Elpida Memory Inc., Micron Technology Inc., MonolithIC 3D Inc., and 3M Company.
About Us
Transparency Market Research (TMR) is a global market intelligence company providing business information reports and services. The company’s exclusive blend of quantitative forecasting and trend analysis provides forward-looking insight for thousands of decision makers. TMR’s experienced team of analysts, researchers, and consultants use proprietary data sources and various tools and techniques to gather and analyze information.
TMR’s data repository is continuously updated and revised by a team of research experts so that it always reflects the latest trends and information. With extensive research and analysis capabilities, Transparency Market Research employs rigorous primary and secondary research techniques to develop distinctive data sets and research material for business reports.

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Transparency Market Research

State Tower
90 State Street, Suite 700
Albany, NY, 12207

toll-free: 866-552-3453

Google Q3 results, Edison view: “Slowing growth does not make the shares unattractive.”

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Embedded editor Chris A. Ciufo writes: the following analysis of Google’s recent financial results by Edison Investment Research is instructive to the embedded market. Why? Consumers are shifting their “Googling” habits from desktops to small screens (tablets, smartphones, Intel 2-in-1s, etc) and the mobile market positively affects embedded as it catalyzes components and infrastructure. Additionally, we believe the IoT–from which embedded also strongly benefits–will play a role in Google’s future. Afterall, their purchase of Nest home automation was only the first salvo in Google’s potential role in monetizing the IoT.

Richard Windsor, analyst at Edison Investment Research, said:

“Google reported slightly disappointing results as growth from its core advertising business in fixed Internet slowed a bit more quickly than expected.

Video, multi-screen and mobile continue to be the strongest growth areas with desktop and display lagging behind. Google is investing heavily in R&D as most of 3,000 recruits during the quarter were engineers. This has been partially offset by a fall in the GNA spend as a % sales which is good news as I have long held the view that Google grossly overspends on GNA.

This has resulted in slightly lower operating margins which was compounded by a higher tax rate to give the EPS disappointment observed. There is bad news for Lenovo in these figures (reports Q2 14E on 7th November) as losses at Motorola Mobility look to have ballooned again.

Losses from discontinued operations increased to $185m compared to losses of just $68m in Q2. In the absence of the 10-Q filing, it is not possible to see exactly how much of the loss is coming from Motorola, but it is clear that profitability has nose-dived once again. This will increase pressure on Lenovo which is taking on the loss making division for $2bn and does not have the financial flexibility to endure ongoing losses.

For Google, this is a rounding error that no one really notices and consequently it has no impact on the company going forward. In this vein, the combination of mobile and video should keep the company growing nicely and I expect a solid end to 2014E.

At 17.4x 2015E and 16.1x 2016E PER (close 16th Oct), Google remains attractively valued and remains one of my top places to look when considering investments in the ecosystem.”

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North American semiconductor equipment industry posts August 2014 book-to-bill ratio of 1.04

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.35 billion in orders worldwide in August 2014 (three-month average basis) and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.04, according to the August EMDS Book-to-Bill Report published today by SEMI.   A book-to-bill of 1.04 means that $104 worth of orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month.

The three-month average of worldwide bookings in August 2014 was $1.35 billion. The bookings figure is 5.0 percent lower than the final July 2014 level of $1.42 billion, and is 26.5 percent higher than the August 2013 order level of $1.06 billion.

The three-month average of worldwide billings in August 2014 was $1.29 billion. The billings figure is 2.0 percent lower than the final July 2014 level of $1.32 billion, and is 19.5 percent higher than the August 2013 billings level of $1.08 billion.

“The SEMI Book-to-Bill ratio has been at or above parity for 11 consecutive months, and both current month bookings and billings continue to trend well above 2013 levels,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. “Strong equipment spending growth for the year is observed across the fab and test and assembly segments.”

The SEMI book-to-bill is a ratio of three-month moving averages of worldwide bookings and billings for North American-based semiconductor equipment manufacturers. Billings and bookings figures are in millions of U.S. dollars.

(3-mo. avg)

(3-mo. avg)


March 2014




April 2014




May 2014




June 2014




July 2014 (final)




August 2014 (prelim)




Source: SEMI, September 2014

The data contained in this release were compiled by David Powell, Inc., an independent financial services firm, without audit, from data submitted directly by the participants. SEMI and David Powell, Inc. assume no responsibility for the accuracy of the underlying data.

The data are contained in a monthly Book-to-Bill Report published by SEMI. The report tracks billings and bookings worldwide of North American-headquartered manufacturers of equipment used to manufacture semiconductor devices, not billings and bookings of the chips themselves. The Book-to-Bill report is one of three reports included with the SEMI Equipment Market Data Subscription (EMDS).

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Wafer Demand will Grow by 7.4% in 2014, Says Semico Research

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

In 2014, semiconductor units are expected to grow over 5% to reach a new record, and wafer demand growth is a direct result of these numbers. Every quarter, Semico releases our Quarterly Wafer Demand Forecast & Summary to analyze changes in the market so you can strategize for the next quarter.

“As expected during the first half of 2014, semiconductor sales were robust,” says Joanne Itow, Semico’s Managing Director. “Unit sales in wireless communication continue to be strong as smartphone manufactures prepare to rollout new phone models in the fall.”

The Semico unit forecast is one of the main inputs to the wafer demand model. Other inputs include process technology by product, die sizes, yields and wafer size. On a regular basis, Semico analyzes semiconductor products by manufacturing technology, die size, yields, and technology roadmaps. This information is based on data collection over the past 20 years and interviews with hundreds of companies. Semico performs this data collection for a wide variety of semiconductor device types.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Wafer demand is expected to grow by 7.4% in 2014
  • Mobile DRAM will see high growth
  • Total wafer demand will grow to over 200 million 200mm wafer equivalents
  • Total memory wafer demand will increase by 4.2% in 2014

Semico’s Quarterly Wafer Demand Forecast & Summary provides insight into market changes from quarter to quarter including a discussion on DRAM, NAND, MPU, MCU, MOS Logic, Analog, Discretes, and Optoelectronics.

Included with the report is an excel spreadsheet providing annual wafer demand by product by technology from 2002 with a five-year forecast. Technology nodes range from >1000nm to 14nm and include 200mm wafers for DRAM, SRAM, NAND, NOR, Other Non-Volatile, MPU, MCU, DSP, Computing, Communication, Other MOS Logic, Programmable Logic, Standard Cell, GateArray, Analog, Discrete, Optoelectronics, Digital Bipolar.

Semico’s Wafer Demand Summary and Assumptions 2Q14 is part of our Manufacturing Portfolio.

Other reports in this portfolio include:

About Semico

We are a semiconductor marketing & consulting research company located in Phoenix, Arizona.

Semico was founded in 1994 by a group of semiconductor industry experts. We have improved the validity of semiconductor product forecasts via technology roadmaps in end-use markets.

Semico offers custom consulting, portfolio packages, individual market research studies and premier industry conferences.

Contact Information

Semico Research Corporation

Component Availability and Pricing Trends, According to Avnet

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Check out the latest in lead times, pricing trends, allocations, new product releases and end-of-life status on 18 broad product categories from Avnet’s line card of more than 300 suppliers.

Big Market Trends

  • Military Interconnect pricing is increasing by approximately 2% over the next couple months
  • Lead times continue to extend for Discrete products leading to suppliers increasing capacity by as much as 25%
  • RF product lead times have been stretching for multiple suppliers, in some cases 20 plus weeks
  • Expect extremely constrained support for many DRAM Memory products this quarter, especially DDR3 and Mobile DRAM



View Full Infographic

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tele: 1.800.409.1483

Intel Earnings Commentary

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

PCs- Intel showed a strong growth trend in the PC market with greater than expected gains in notebooks (9%) and desktops (8%) YoY. This is not surprising as we’ve been predicting the renewal of many older machines, particularly in enterprises and for business users. We expect the PC market to continue to grow for at least the next 3 quarters as more machines are upgrades/replaced, and the investment in new tablets continues to taper off with increasing saturation.

Data Center – Buoyed by continuing push to the cloud, Intel showed a strong growth (9%) YoY. We expect this trend to continue, even as the lower end server market heats up dramatically, driven by ARM-based low power/low cost systems. We expect Intel to capture a significant share of this low end of the market with specifically targeted chips that will compliment the traditional leadership in mid to higher end servers.

Mobile and Communications – this is one area where Intel is doing quite badly. But this was expected, as they will not be able to compete in any major way with the ARM-based suppliers until they have a fully 4G/LTE SoC late this year and into next year. Intel’s numbers will likely continue to decline until they achieve volumes with the next generation of SoCs targeting primarily the tablet space first, and then later next year the phone space. Design wins are showing momentum, but they are not yet competitive with others in this space (e.g., QComm). We expect this to turn around within 9-12 months.

Margins – the increase in margins to 64.5% shows a major increase in the efficiencies of their operations as new management has focused on this aggressively. Together with continued R&D and manufacturing investments, and stock buy-back, this should put them in good stead to ride out any market fluctuations.

Overall, this has been a very good quarter for Intel and shows that despite what some believed, Intel in not down and out in a changed market. They are reinventing themselves to the needs of the new market realities, and will remain a major force in defining the next generations of mobile and IoT markets.

J.Gold Associates works with its clients to ensure an IT strategy that is sound, strategic, and offering maximum return on investment. Our services include business and technology needs assessment and recommendations, project planning and oversight, vendor assessment and selection, plan reviews, strategic planning workshops, and acting as a trusted advisor for individual projects or organization-wide strategic initiatives.

Microsoft reducing staff by 18K, 12.5K (about 2/3 of total) will come from the Nokia acquisition in smart phones

Monday, July 21st, 2014

This is the first volley in Nadella’s restructuring of Microsoft. He realizes he is not Apple and should not be competing in HW directly with OEMs. Further, phones is a razor-thin margin business and makes little sense to be in if you are interested in profit margins approaching what Microsoft is used to in the SW business. I expect that Microsoft will either spin out or sell off the phone business within 18 months. They are making the same mistake that Google did when it bought Motorola (and ultimately sold it to Lenovo). As a first step, Nadella is refocusing Nokia phones away from the lower end X devices, going all-in on Windows Phone. That is a sound strategy for positioning the product set to meet Microsoft’s need for more market share of Windows phone, but it’s unlikely to be very successful in greatly increasing market share. But this repositioning in my opinion is a first step down the path of making the phone business “saleable”.

Of course, there will be other restructuring too, with another 5.5K layoffs. I expect most of these to be in non-strategic business units that have not contributed to the bottom line effectively. This likely will include other device businesses (e.g., Surface PRO), and for the same reasons stated above.

I believe that Nadella gets the fact that Microsoft can’t be Apple – a totally vertically integrated environment, and will refocus on cloud, services and SW assets that are growing and profitable. This is a similar path that Google took over the past few years as it too tried to be Apple for a while and realized it couldn’t.

This is the first major salvo in the new Nadella era – moving away from the Ballmer era where he focused on being a devices and services company with an eye to competing head to head with Apple on all things. So far I believe Nadella is making all the right moves to refocus on Microsoft strengths and what it can bring to the new era of computing in the cloud, internet of things, personal productivity products, etc. And to having a laser focus on what enterprises require (a very large portion of Microsoft’s business).

So my bottom line is that this move by the new management at Microsoft is a very good move and one that will realign Microsoft for the future and accelerate reinventing itself for success. The next 12-18 months should show a lot of the changes, and ultimately how successful they will be, reinventing themselves yet again for the new market realities.

JEG New Image smallJ.Gold Associates works with its clients to ensure an IT strategy that is sound, strategic, and offering maximum return on investment. Our services include business and technology needs assessment and recommendations, project planning and oversight, vendor assessment and selection, plan reviews, strategic planning workshops, and acting as a trusted advisor for individual projects or organization-wide strategic initiatives.

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