Total worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $299.9 billion in 2012, down 2.6 percent from 2011, according to research firm Gartner.
With the overall semiconductor market decline, the number of vendors that declined among the top 25 outnumbered those that grew.
Gartner said the top 25 semiconductor vendors’ revenue declined slightly faster, at 2.8 percent, than the industry as a whole and accounted for almost the same portion of the industry’s total revenue ? 68.9 percent in 2012, compared with 69.0 percent in 2011.
“The normal drivers of semiconductor industry growth ? the computing, wireless, consumer electronics and automotive electronics sectors ? all suffered serious disruption in 2012,” said Steve Ohr, research director at Gartner.
“Even the industrial/medical, wired communications and military/aerospace sectors ordinarily less affected by changes in consumer sentiment suffered severe declines in semiconductor consumption. Excess inventory levels also remained a growth inhibitor.?
Intel recorded a 3.1-percent revenue decline, due to falls in PC shipments. However, it retained the No. 1 market share position for the 21st year in a row. Intel’s share was 16.4 percent in 2012, down from 16.5 percent in 2011.
Samsung, the No. 2 vendor, was held back by weak DRAM growth in 2012, as well as a dilution of the NAND flash market, although its overall revenue increased from smartphone application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and application-specific standard products (ASSPs).
Qualcomm’s semiconductor revenue increased 31.8 percent in 2012 to $13.2 billion. The company climbed from No. 6 in 2011 to No. 3 and now trails only Intel and Samsung.
Qualcomm was the fastest-growing semiconductor company in the top 25 and continues to benefit from its leading position in wireless semiconductors.
Texas Instruments retained its fourth-place ranking, although Toshiba slipped to fifth place in semiconductor shipments.