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Worldwide semiconductor revenue grew by 10.4% in 2020

Worldwide semiconductor revenue totaled $466.2 billion in 2020, an increase of 10.4% from 2019, according to final results by global research and advisory Gartner Inc. (Gartner).

Chipmaker Intel retained its position as the No. 1 global semiconductor vendor by revenue in 2020, according to global research and advisory firm Gartner. Samsung Electronics, SK hynix, Micron, and Qualcomm complete the top 5 rankings. Intel’s semiconductor revenue grew 7.4%, driven by the growth of its core client and server CPU businesses.

Overall, the top performers in the top 10 were Nvidia with 45.2% growth driven by gaming-related and data center business, and MediaTek’s which grew by 38.1% in 2020 driven by the disruption to Huawei’s business throughout the year.

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“Memory, GPUs and 5G chipsets led semiconductor growth, driven by hyperscale, PC, ultramobile and 5G handset end-market demand, while automotive and industrial electronics suffered due to lower spending or a pause in spending owing to COVID-19,” said Andrew Norwood, research vice president at Gartner.

Memory business

Memory, which accounted for 26.7% of semiconductor sales in 2020, was the second best-performing device category, experiencing a 13.5% revenue increase.

“Memory benefited from the key trend in 2020 — the shift to home working and learning — which fueled increased server build from hyperscale vendors to satisfy online working and entertainment, as well as a surge in PCs and ultramobile,” said Norwood.

Within memory, NAND flash experienced the best performance with revenue growth of 25.2% due to a shortage in the first half of 2020.

“In 2021 both NAND flash and DRAM will be in shortage, sending pricing higher though the year and revenues rocketing by around 25%” said Norwood. “This sets memory-focused Samsung up with a good chance of recapturing the top spot in the semiconductor market from Intel in 2021.”