Broadcom Overtakes Qualcomm as Largest IC Design House in 2Q20

Article By : TrendForce

Broadcom overtakes Qualcomm for first place while Nvidia scores highest YoY growth in 2Q20 revenue ranking of global Top 10 IC design companies, says TrendForce...

According to the revenue ranking of top ten IC design companies for 2Q20 compiled by TrendForce, Broadcom was able to capture number one position by surpassing Qualcomm in quarterly revenue. Despite strong demand for 5G products driven by WFH and distance education needs, Qualcomm’s upward momentum in 2Q20 was constrained due to the delayed release of Apple’s latest iPhones.

TrendForce analyst C.Y. Yao indicates that new product releases by Apple during third quarters had typically contributed to Qualcomm’s second quarter revenues in the past. Delayed iPhone releases this year, however, led to a slowdown in Qualcomm’s chip revenue growth. Qualcomm registered a modest 6.7% revenue growth YoY in 2Q20. On the other hand, although Broadcom retook first place in terms of quarterly revenue, escalating tensions between China and the U.S. had a negative effect on its semiconductor revenue performance, which declined by 6.8% YoY in 2Q20.

Nvidia now includes revenue from Mellanox as part of its data center revenue after the former acquired the latter earlier this year. The addition of Mellanox was able to compensate for Nvidia’s shortfall in professional visualization and automotive revenue. On the whole, Nvidia posted excellent revenue performance for 2Q20 and increased its revenue by 47.1% YoY, the highest percentage growth in the top 10 list. AMD scored the second highest YoY percentage growth in 2Q20, at 26.2%, behind Nvidia, due to the outstanding receptions of its Ryzen and EPYC processors in the notebook and server markets, respectively.

Xilinx has traditionally counted the wired and wireless network equipment market as one of its main revenue drivers. However, the department responsible for those markets posted a 33.2% YoY decrease in quarterly revenue, and the COVID-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on the global automotive market, leading to a decline in Xilinx’s automotive revenue. For the first time ever, Xilinx registered a double-digit YoY quarterly decline. Likewise, Dialog saw decreased revenue from its custom mixed-signal IC, leading to a YoY decrease of 10.1% in overall 2Q20 revenue.

In the face of escalating sanctions by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon is unlikely to fulfill chip demand from Huawei’s various product lines. Since U.S.-China tensions are yet to improve, HiSilicon’s new Kirin processors to be released in 2H20 is expected to be the final mobile processor released by the company. Much like the Kirin, other chips from Huawei, including server CPUs, AI chips, and 5G chips, may face a similar fate.

Taiwanese IC design companies MediaTek and Realtek maintained their excellent performances during the quarter, reaching YoY revenue growths of 14.2% and 18.8%, respectively. In particular, MediaTek was able to successfully deploy its products to the 5G mid-range smartphone market with its 7nm process technology and cost optimization measures, in turn raising its revenue and gross margins.

C.Y. Yao believes that, on the whole, the outlook for the global IC design revenue in 2020 is relatively positive because of strong demand in 3Q20 for WFH- and distance education-related products, in addition to component demand from the data center, 5G infrastructure, and 5G smartphone markets.

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