Intel still number one in semiconductor revenue for 2006

Intel Corp. hung on to its position as number-one semiconductor vendor by revenue in 2006, despite a 12 percent revenue decline over the previous year, according to a report from Gartner Inc.

The chip giant lost share with its CPUs (central processing units) in the server and consumer segments to Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) in all but the fourth quarter of 2006, Gartner found. An industry-wide price war also cut into Intel revenue.

Still, Intel had a boost in the fourth quarter, with the release of its Core 2 Duo and Xeon 5100 products. Those products should help Intel win back its lost market share this year, Gartner said. Overall, Intel had 11.6 percent market share for 2006.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. came in at number two, with 7.7 percent market share and 9.8 percent revenue growth over 2005. Increased sales in DRAM (dynamic RAM), NOR Flash, PSRAM (pseudo static RAM) and CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) Image Sensors contributed to Samsung’s growth, Gartner said. However, Samsung lost market share, slipping below 50 percent, in the NAND Flash revenue segment.

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) hung on to the number-three position, with 4.6 percent of the market and an 18.4 percent revenue increase over 2005. High performance analog drove growth for TI, with a 33 percent increase over 2005, Gartner said. In addition, revenue for 3G (third-generation) wireless products for TI grew 50 percent.

Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and Infineon Technologies AG recorded the strongest growth rates among the top 10. Hynix revenue grew almost 40 percent compared to 2005 and Infineon recorded 28.4 percent growth in revenue.

Intel rival AMD gained market share in the mobile and desktop segments as well as server product families in Dell Inc. Combined semiconductor revenue from AMD and ATI Technologies Inc., the company AMD bought, grew by almost 30 percent in 2006 compared to 2005.

Overall, the worldwide semiconductor market generated US$262.7 billion in revenue in 2006, a 10.2 percent increase from 2005 revenue of $238.3 billion, Gartner found.

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