Worldwide semiconductor revenue grew 10.4% in 2020, despite supply chain troubles

The results from Gartner for worldwide semiconductor revenue exceeded preliminary findings released in January, which calculated growth in the market to be 7.3%.

As Intel retained its position as the top global semiconductor vendor by revenue in 2020, followed by Samsung Electronics, SK hynix and Micron, NVIDIA experienced the greatest revenue growth (45.2%).

Intel’s semiconductor revenue grew 7.4%, with growth of its core client and server CPU businesses being major factors, while NVIDIA’s surge in revenue was primarily driven by the company’s gaming-related and data centre businesses.

MediaTek in 8th place saw the second greatest revenue growth in 2020 (38.1%), driven by the disruption to Huawei’s business throughout the year, according to Gartner.

“Memory, GPUs and 5G chipsets led semiconductor growth, driven by hyperscale, PC, ultramobile and 5G handset end-market demand, while automotive and industrial electronics suffered due to lower spending or a pause in spending owing to Covid-19,” said Andrew Norwood, research vice-president at Gartner.

Memory, which accounted for 26.7% of semiconductor sales in 2020, was the second best-performing device category, experiencing a 13.5% revenue increase.

Within memory, NAND flash experienced the best performance with revenue growth of 25.2% due to a shortage in 1H20.

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Norwood continued: “Memory benefited from the key trend in 2020 — the shift to home working and learning — which fuelled increased server build from hyperscale vendors to satisfy online working and entertainment, as well as a surge in PCs and ultramobiles.

“In 2021 both NAND flash and DRAM will be in shortage, sending pricing higher though the year and revenues rocketing by around 25%.

“This sets memory focused Samsung up with a good chance of recapturing the top spot in the semiconductor market from Intel 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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