Memory, GPUs and 5G chipsets led semiconductor growth, driven by hyperscale, PC, ultramobile and 5G handset end-market demand.
Worldwide semiconductor revenue totaled $466.2 billion in 2020, an increase of 10.4% from 2019, according to final results by Gartner Inc.
“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.
Intel retained its position as the No. 1 global semiconductor vendor by revenue in 2020, followed by Samsung Electronics, SK hynix and Micron (see Table 1). Intel’s semiconductor revenue grew 7.4%, driven by growth of its core client and server CPU businesses. Overall, the top performers in the top 10 were NVIDIA and MediaTek. NVIDIA’s 45.2% growth was primarily driven by the company’s gaming-related and data center businesses. MediaTek’s revenue grew 38.1% in 2020 driven by the disruption to Huawei’s business throughout the year.
Table 1. Top 10 Semiconductor Vendors by Revenue, Worldwide, 2020 (Millions of U.S. Dollars)
Memory Accounted for One-Third of Revenue Growth
Memory, which accounted for 26.7% of semiconductor sales in 2020, was the second best-performing device category, experiencing a 13.5% revenue increase. “Memory benefited from the key trend in 2020 — the shift to home working and learning — which fueled increased server build from hyperscale vendors to satisfy online working and entertainment, as well as a surge in PCs and ultramobiles,” said Mr. Norwood.
Within memory, NAND flash experienced the best performance with revenue growth of 25.2% due to a shortage in 1H20. “In 2021 both NAND flash and DRAM will be in shortage, sending pricing higher though the year and revenues rocketing by around 25%” said Mr. Norwood. “This sets memory focused Samsung up with a good chance of recapturing the top spot in the semiconductor market from Intel in 2021.”