According to Gartner, the worldwide semiconductor foundry market grew 4.4% in 2015 to achieve $48.8 billion in revenue, marking a decline compared to the previous years. Excess IC inventory, poor demand for mobile products and PCs, and slowing tablet sales are the reasons pointed out for the decline.
Among the top players, TSMC stands as the leader. It grew 5.5% in 2015, mainly due to the success of 20 nm planar and 16 nm Fin field-effect transistor (FinFET) technologies serving the need of application processors and baseband modem chips. It holds the market with 54.3% share.
Globalfoundaries holds the second position reporting a 6.2% growth. Its market share is 9.6%. The #3 position went to UMC with $4.5 billion revenue, representing 9.3% of the market.
“The slowdown in the device market has driven semiconductor producers to be conservative in placing wafer orders to foundries. Foundry growth was only possible from the high wafer demand by Apple and the revenue conversion of a few integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) to foundries,” reasoned Samuel Wang, research vice president at Gartner.
Samsung Electronics, SMIC, Powerchip Technology, Fujitsu Semiconductor, Vanguard International, and Shanghai Huahong Grace Semiconductor are the other players that found a place in the top 10 list.
“On a quarterly basis, foundry revenue changed quarter to quarter in 2015. The normal seasonal pattern of a very strong second quarter was not obvious, while most foundries continued to revise their business outlook during each quarter’s earnings release,” analyzed Mr. Wang.
“The peak inventory level for the semiconductor industry continued to push out during 2015, from the second quarter to the third quarter, and through the rest of the year,” he added.