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The semiconductor industry is the aggregate collection of companies engaged in the design and fabrication of semiconductor devices. It formed around 1960, once the fabrication of semiconductors became a viable business. It has since grown to be the $249 billion industry it is today.[1]

Industry structure[edit]

The global semiconductor industry is dominated by USA, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and European Union. The U.S. industry faces challenges to development by some forms of government regulation[citation needed]. The U.S. government regulates exports and certain uses of some types of semiconductors due to their potential dual use in military applications.

Based on a KPMG report it was a $304 billion market in 2010.

Company Country of origin Revenue
$ USD)
2012/2011 changes Market share
1 1 1 1 Intel Corporation  United States $47,543 -2.4% 15.7%
2 2 2 2 Samsung Electronics  South Korea $30,474 +6.7% 10.1%
3 6 9 6 Qualcomm  United States $12,976 +27.2% 4.3%
4 3 4 4 Texas Instruments  United States $12,008 -14.0% 4.0%
5 4 3 3 Toshiba Semiconductors  Japan $10,996 -13.6% 3.6%
6 5 5 9 Renesas Electronics (1)  Japan $9,430 -11.4% 3.1%
7 8 6 7 Hynix  South Korea $8,462 -8.9% 2.8%
8 7 7 5 STMicroelectronics  France /  Italy $8,453 -13.2% 2.8%
9 10 10 14 Broadcom  United States $7,840 +9.5% 2.6%
10 9 8 13 Micron Technology (2)  United States $6,955 -5.6% 2.3%

Source : iSuppli Corporation supplied rankings for 2010 (Semiconductor foundries are excluded)


This industry features a number of distinct characteristics that position it uniquely in the economy and in the global competitive arena. These include:

  • The role of the industry as technology enabler. The semiconductor industry is widely recognized as a key driver for economic growth in its role as a multiple lever and technology enabler for the whole electronics value chain. In other words, from a worldwide base semiconductor market of $213 billion in 2004, the industry enables the generation of some $1,200 billion in electronic systems business and $5,000 billion in services, representing close to 10% of world GDP.
  • Continuous growth but in a cyclical pattern with high volatility. While the current 20 year annual average growth of the semiconductor industry is on the order of 13%, this has been accompanied by equally above-average market volatility, which can lead to significant if not dramatic cyclical swings.
  • The need for high degrees of flexibility and innovation in order to constantly adjust to the rapid pace of change in the market. Many products embedding semiconductor devices often have a very short life cycle. At the same time, the rate of constant price-performance improvement in the semiconductor industry is staggering. As a consequence, changes in the semiconductor market not only occur extremely rapidly but also anticipate changes in industries evolving at a slower pace. Yet another consequence of this rapid pace is that established market strongholds can be displaced very quickly.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA)

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiconductor_industry — Please support Wikipedia.
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