According to the latest statistics of tuoyi Industry Research Institute, the top ten IC designers in the world ranked in revenue in 2018, and the top three were Broadcom, Qualcomm and NVIDIA in order, which was consistent with the ranking in the third quarter. Driven by automotive electronics and consumer electronics, IC design enterprises show an overall growth trend.
Among the top ten, Qualcomm experienced the largest decline due to the weak demand for smart phones, with its revenue declining by 3.9% compared with the previous year. In the revenue and ranking in the third quarter of 2018, the three Taiwan based design industries, such as MediaTek, Lianyong and Ruiyu, grew well driven by consumer electronics. MediaTek has been out of recession since the second quarter, with an increase of 3% in the third quarter over the same period last year. Impacted by the poor demand for smart phones, MediaTek’s annual revenue declined by 0.7% (in US dollars) in 2018. However, in terms of new Taiwan dollars, the decline was only 0.1%.
Yao Jiayang, senior industry analyst at tuoyi Industry Research Institute, pointed out that although Qualcomm’s product strategy in 2018 was quite positive, due to the loss of Apple’s new LTE modem order in 2018 and the steady climb in the proportion of Huawei equipped with Kirin processors, Qualcomm’s mobile phone chip shipments fell, which also affected its revenue performance. In contrast, last year, MediaTek was continuously committed to adjusting its product portfolio and cost structure, and the recession has been greatly reduced.
In 2018, the world's top ten IC design enterprises were ranked, with Broadcom taking the lead and Qualcomm declining
Figure 1: ranking of top ten IC design enterprises in 2018.
Observing the overall situation of the top ten IC design enterprises in 2018, the annual revenue of eight manufacturers showed positive growth compared with 2017, which was maintained by the stable growth momentum of terminal markets such as network infrastructure, data center and television, followed by improving the revenue performance through acquisition. Enterprises benefiting from the market growth momentum include Broadcom, NVIDIA, Chaowei, Xilinx, Lianyong and Ruiyu; Those who benefited from the acquisition were Meiman electronics and dialog semiconductor.
The performance of Chaowei in 2018 is quite excellent, and the growth rate is only second to NVIDIA, ranking second. The main reason is that Chaowei’s computing and image computing product line performs well, with a revenue of US $4.13 billion and a growth rate of 38.6%, which is due to Chaowei’s successful entry into the server market by successively adopting 7Nm technology in processors and image processors.
However, it must be noted that the performance of many enterprises in the fourth quarter of 2018 was lower than the original market expectations. Companies such as NVIDIA and Meiman electronic dialog revised their financial forecasts under the latest quarterly financial report. Take NVIDIA as an example. As games account for more than 50% of the company’s revenue, however, the company’s game revenue fell sharply in the latest quarter, making the overall revenue performance in 2018 worse than expected. This also shows that the inventory of NVIDIA’s game graphics card has not been removed. I’m afraid it will take one to two quarters of inventory removal time to have the opportunity to restore normal operating performance. However, in terms of growth rate, it still ranks first among the top ten IC design enterprises.
Looking forward to 2019, Yao Jiayang said that the growth performance of the world’s top ten IC design enterprises will be affected by many external factors. For example, the growth rate of smart phones will continue to decline. In addition, this year, whether 5g or folding smart phones will still end in thematic topics, and the actual shipment and penetration rate are still quite limited. Huawei’s attitude in the smartphone market is still quite positive, which is bound to compress the market performance of other OEM enterprises, which will be an adverse factor for the market performance of Qualcomm and MediaTek in 2019.
The growth performance of servers is expected to be lower than that in 2018, mainly because the data center construction of major CSP enterprises has been put in place one after another, and the demand for servers will gradually slow down. In addition, the demand of the global car market may continue to be depressed. Therefore, we are conservative about the revenue performance of the top ten IC design enterprises in 2019.

This article is transferred from: Tuolong Industrial Research Institute

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