There's one thing I can promise you about the space program. Your tax dollars will go further. - Wernher Von Braun
CHIPMAKER Intel extended its lead in the semiconductor industry following a bumper 2011 while Qualcomm enjoyed a 41 per cent increase in revenues.
Intel's bumper 2011 was highlighted earlier this year with the firm posting financial figures that seemed to fly in the face of industry perceptions. According to IHS Isuppli Intel's revenues accounted for 15.6 per cent of total semiconductor industry revenues with second place Samsung Electronics seeing marginal revenue growth, accounting for 9.2 per cent of the industry total.
Looking at IHS Isuppli's figures it is easy to see why Chipzilla is anxious to get into the smartphone chip business, with Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Broadcom and Nvidia all reporting significant growth in revenue. In particular Qualcomm stood out with a 41.6 per cent increase, making it the sixth largest semiconductor firm, less than $500m behind fifth place Renesas.
As for AMD, it climbed one spot to 11th place behind Broadcom, with 2011 revenues amounting to $6.4bn or 2.1 per cent of the semiconductor industry total. Nvidia placed 17th on IHS Isuppli's list, reporting an impressive 12.9 per cent increase in revenues to $3.6bn.
DRAM makers Hynix, Micron and Elpida all suffered during 2011, posting double-digit declines in revenue. However the now bankrupt Elpida posted the single largest revenue drop of any company on IHS Isuppli's list with a decline of 39.7 per cent to $3.8bn.
Intel will be pleased that it is pulling away from Samsung. Given Samsung's position in the smartphone market and its hugely successful 2011 Galaxy S II handset along with supplying a number of chips in Apple's Iphone, Intel's growth is perhaps a little unexpected.
It is likely that Samsung's revenue growth suffered due to its DRAM business, as the firm is the biggest supplier of DRAM memory. While the DRAM market shows little sign of improvement, Intel will need strong sales of its Medfield Atom chip to help it maintain a lead over Samsung. µ
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