China-based HiSilicon ranked in Top-10 Semiconductor Companies

IC Insights has released the list of the top-10 semiconductor companies’ sales in the first quarter of 2020. The top-10 worldwide semiconductor (IC and O S D—optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete) sales ranking for 1Q20 is shown in Figure 1.

It includes six suppliers headquartered in the U.S., two in South Korea, and one each in Taiwan and China.  The ranking includes four fabless companies (Broadcom, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and HiSilicon) and one pure-play foundry (TSMC).

As shown in figure 1, HiSilicon and Nvidia the two new entrants into the top-10 ranking in 1Q20 have replaced Infineon and Kioxia.

As shown, China-based fabless IC supplier HiSilicon jumped up five spots in the ranking to 10th place, making it the first China-based semiconductor supplier to be ranked in the worldwide top-10 listing.  HiSilicon’s year-over-year sales surged 54% in 1Q20.  Nvidia also posted a solid year-over-year sales increase of 37% in 1Q20.

HiSilicon is the semiconductor design division of China-based telecommunications giant Huawei and over 90% of HiSilicon’s sales go to its parent company.

The top-10 ranking includes one pure-play foundry, TSMC, which registered a strong 45% 1Q20/1Q19 jump in revenue.  Much of this increase was due to a surge in sales of 7nm application processors to Apple and HiSilicon for their respective smartphones.  As shown in Figure 2, HiSilicon has become an increasingly important customer for TSMC and represented 14% of its sales last year, up from holding only a 5% share in 2017.  It is interesting to note that HiSilicon and Apple combined to represent 37% of TSMC’s total sales in 2019.

IC Insights includes foundries in the top-10 semiconductor supplier ranking since it has always viewed the ranking as a top supplier list, not a marketshare ranking, and realizes that in some cases the semiconductor sales are double counted.  

Overall, the top-10 list shown in Figure 1 is provided as a guideline to identify which companies are the leading semiconductor suppliers, whether they are IDMs, fabless companies, or foundries.