Report: Worldwide microelectronics revenue up 2 percent in Q1

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3 trends influencing the semiconductor industry in a coronavirus world.

The top ten global semiconductor manufacturers experienced a 2.1 percent sequential sales jump in the first quarter, reports Omdia. The research organization notes the sector’s leading suppliers benefited from coronavirus pandemic related computer and server chip sale increases.

Although Intel led the pack with $19.5 billion in revenue, Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon saw the greatest amount of quarter-over-quarter growth with 40 percent.

Coronavirus Pandemic Driven Growth

In the first three months of 2020, the top ten semiconductor companies generated $63.5 billion in sales, up from $62.2 billion in Q4 2019. Omdia explained memory module suppliers drove the upswing in revenue because the global health crisis prompted mass work-from-home transitions.

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Similarly, major web service providers bought large quantities of memory components to reinforce their cloud networks.

As a result, segment leaders like Samsung, as well as SK Hynix and Micron, enjoyed modest upticks in sales during the last period. Kioxia, which previously operated as Toshiba Memory America, recorded the greatest gains, growing 10 percent from Q4.

Mixed Results Elsewhere

According to Omdia’s research, companies specializing in microprocessors, GPUs, and communications chips had mixed financial outcomes in the first quarter.

Intel, the world’s best-selling semiconductor business in Q1, experienced a 1.8 percent sequential dip in sales. The business intelligence group noted the Santa Clara, California-based company saw its revenue fall because purchasers sought out less expensive chipsets. Graphics card leader Nvidia, likely endured a 0.9 quarter-over-quarter shortfall for the same reason.

Some firms deriving most of their revenue from communications components grew their businesses last quarter while others did not. Qualcomm’s sales went up by 14.6 percent from the holiday period, but Broadcom’s sequential revenue slipped by 2.1 percent.

In addition, HiSilicon enjoyed double-digit expansion last quarter, which allowed it to join the top ten suppliers list for the first time.

The Chinese chipmaker became the first domestic concern to lead its microelectronics sector in Q1. The firm’s success is due to its parent company being its biggest client. Since Huawei dominated the Sino handset segment with 42.6 percent market share in the prior period, its semiconductor unit thrived.

Given their unparalleled infrastructure and contracts, either Samsung or Intel will likely emerge as 2020’s best-selling semiconductor supplier. But the pandemic’s impact on the global market has rendered the rest of the top ten rankings up for grabs.

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