Worldwide semiconductor revenue exceeded $500 billion for first time in 2021 — Gartner

Preliminary results released today by Gartner reveal that worldwide semiconductor revenue grew 25.1% to exceed $500 billion for the first time in 2021

Samsung Electronics regained the top spot among semiconductor vendors worldwide from Intel for the first time since 2018, with revenue increasing 31.6% in 2021.

Memory revenue generated by Samsung grew 34.2% from 2020, in line with the growth rate of the overall memory market.

Intel, meanwhile, dropped to the No. 2 position with 0.5% growth in 2021, delivering the lowest growth rate among the top 25 vendors.

Rounding off the top five semiconductor vendors were SK Hynix, Micron Technology and Qualcomm, all of which saw growth of over 25% year-on-year.

Source: Gartner

“As the global economy bounced back in 2021, shortages appeared throughout the semiconductor supply chain, particularly in the automotive industry,” said Andrew Norwood, research vice-president at Gartner.

“The resulting combination of strong demand as well as logistics and raw material price increases drove semiconductors’ average selling price higher (ASP), contributing to overall revenue growth in 2021.

“The 5G smartphone market also helped drive semiconductor revenue, with unit production more than doubling to reach 555 million in 2021, compared to 250 million in 2020.

“US sanctions imposed on Huawei resulted in other Chinese smartphone OEMs gaining share and fuelling growth for 5G chipset vendors such as Qualcomm, MediaTek and Skyworks. Meanwhile HiSilicon, Huawei’s chip subsidiary, saw revenue decline from $8.2 billion in 2020 to around $1 billion in 2021.”

Memory demand continues surging

Like in 2020, the best-performing device category was memory, growing in revenue by $42.1 billion over 2020.

This was primarily due to increased server deployments by hyperscale cloud providers to satisfy remote working, learning and entertainment needs, as well as a surge in end-market demand for PCs and ultramobiles.

Within memory, dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) had the best performance, with revenue growth of 40.4% in 2021, increasing revenue to $92.5 billion in 2021.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

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