The top foundries for fabless semiconductor manufacturers continue to invest in leading edge technology and move into both smaller transistor geometries and multi-level gate stacking.
Analyst reports have tallied up more than $4.1 Billion for new facilities, equipment and upgrades in 2012.
Ranked by sales, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) remains the leading foundry by a wide margin with quarterly sales over $3.5 Billion. This also ranks TSMC as the number 3 chip seller overall.
The second largest fabless semiconductor is Globalfoundries with nearly $850 Million in quarterly sales. This puts them in the number 19 spot for chip sellers.
Third largest of the pure-play fabless semiconductor manufactures is United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), with under $750 Million in quarterly sales. This placed them just under Globalfoundries as the number 20 ranked chip seller. Sales at UMC are down by nearly 14% from last year.
The recent bankruptcy of Japan’s Elpida Memory open a space in the top 20 rankings for the foundries.
In addition to the foundries which only produce product for other companies, there are some large semiconductor companies that use a portion of their capacity for non-competing fabless semiconductor manufacturers. Most notably, Samsung produces for both Apple and Xilinx, while Intel produces for Altera.
See Related Article – Altera Adds Intel Foundry
IBM has long been a partner for many fabless semiconductors. Marvell , shipping over 1 Billion chips a year, has used Intel for their processor manufacturing expertise and TSMC for their digital and analog fabrication lines.
See Related Article – Marvell Avastar 88W8897 Combo Chip
New companies have become quick to focus on technology and out-source the physical production to others. This is the business model used by a nearly all the programmable logic manufacturers, and also for the new processor and multi-core providers. It’s anticipated that these top foundries for fabless semiconductor manufacturers, as well as the established chip suppliers, will see additional increases to this business segment for 2013.
(Photo Credit – TSMC)
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