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IDC: Microchip firms lose growth momentum due to economic uncertainty

A mix of factors including geopolitical situations, high inflationary pressures, and unstable demand are causing more uncertainties for the fabless market in the Asia Pacific region (APAC), according to the latest data from the International Data Corp. (IDC). 

IDC, a market intelligence firm, said that these factors also ended the trend of rising Integrated Circuit (IC) prices. 

The region’s semiconductor fabless market size in 2022 was $78.5 billion, a decline of 6.5% compared to 2021. This is the first year-on-year negative growth performance since the onset of the pandemic.

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Chinese companies were affected by the overall unfavorable environment in China and saw their market share decline by 2%, while South Korea’s market share did not experience any major changes.

Semiconductor market share

“The annual growth rate of the top 10 companies in Asia Pacific was -5.1%, which was better than the overall market performance,” Galen Zeng, senior research manager, Semiconductor Research, IDC Asia/Pacific, said in a media advisory. “From the perspective of regional momentum, Taiwan leads with 73% market share, while China and South Korea hold 22% and 5% market share, respectively. Having the highest market share, Taiwan is considered to have a wide and deep influence on the region’s fabless market.” 

The supply chain inventory increased as demand for consumer electronics declined as workers are returning to the office. IDC said short-term supply began exceeding demand, forcing companies to slow down the pace of expansion.

Among the top 10 semiconductor technology vendors are Taiwan’s MediaTek, Realtek, Novatek, and Himax; China’s Willsemi, Unisoc, HiSilicon, GigaDevice, and Bitmain; and South Korea’s LX Semicon. 

“MediaTek plays an influential role with a market share of nearly 50% among the top 10 companies,” IDC said. “The growth of MediaTek played a leading role by helping make up for the shortfalls of other Taiwanese firms, resulting in a 2% increase in Taiwan’s semiconductor fabless market share in the region compared to 2021.”