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Qualcomm fastest growing chipmaker

Even when the market is shrinking

The latest figures from analyst outfit Gartner claims that Qualcomm was the fastest-growing semiconductor company in a shrinking market. Gartner said that the overall semiconductor market shrinking in 2012 and the number of vendors that declined among the top 25 outnumbered those that grew.

Intel is still number one, as it has been for 21 years, but its market share was 16.4 per cent in 2012, down from 16.5 per cent in 2011. Chipzilla also had a 3.1 percent revenue decline, which the report said was due to falls in PC shipments. Samsung, which finished in second place, was held back by weak dynamic random access memory (DRAM) growth in 2012.

Total worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $299.9 billion in 2012, down 2.6 percent from 2011, while the top 25 semiconductor vendors' revenue declined slightly faster, at 2.8 percent, than the industry as a whole. 

Steve Ohr, research director at Gartner said that the normal drivers of semiconductor industry growth—the computing, wireless, consumer electronics and automotive electronics sectors—all suffered serious disruption in 2012 Even the industrial/medical, wired communications and military/aerospace sectors ordinarily less affected by changes in consumer sentiment suffered severe declines in semiconductor consumption.

Qualcomm was the fastest-growing semiconductor company in the top 25 and continues to benefit from its leading position in wireless semiconductors, Ohr said. The company’s semiconductor revenue increased 31.8 percent in 2012 to $13.2 billion. The company climbed from the sixth spot in 2011 to third place and now trails only Intel and Samsung.

Texas Instruments retained its fourth-place ranking, although Toshiba slipped to fifth place in semiconductor shipments.

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