Fabless semiconductor firms represented 32.8% of the total market in 2020, a record for the segment, according to new data from IC Insights.
In 2019, driven by a collapse in the memory market, integrated device manufacturer (IDM) IC sales plunged by 20% while fabless IC supplier sales declined by 1%. However, in 2020, fabless chip company sales grew 24% in 2020 while IDM sales increased by only 8%.
The new record for market share for fabless companies was led by Qualcomm’s $5.0 billion sales increase in 2020. IC Insights forecasts that fabless companies and IC foundries will continue to be a strong force in the total IC industry landscape with a percentage share of the total IC market expected to reach the mid-30s in the next five years.
Historically, IDM and fabless growth have been quite different. The first year on record that IDM IC sales growth outpaced fabless IC company sales growth was in 2010 when IDM IC sales grew 35% and fabless IC company sales grew 29%.
IDM sales in 2017 and 2018 increased 31% and 16%, respectively with a 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of only 3%, one point less than the total IC market CAGR during the period. Fabless companies in the same period had a CAGR of 8%, double the total IC market CAGR during the same 10-year time frame.
The full research can be found in IC Insights’ McClean Report.