MediaTek forecast lose top-10 ranking among IC suppliers this year

MediaTek chairman Tsai Ming-kai, right, responds reporters' questions during a media event on Sept. 27, 2017. According to market information advisory firm IC Insights, the Taiwan-based integrated circuit designer is unlikely to maintain its place among the top 10 semiconductor suppliers for 2017 due to its expected sales decline of more than 10 percent. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) – Taiwan-based integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發科) is unlikely to maintain its place among the top 10 semiconductor suppliers for 2017 due to its expected sales decline of more than 10 percent, market information advisory firm IC Insights said Monday.

MediaTek, which specializes in smartphone chip design, is expected to see an annual drop of 11 percent in sales to US.9 billion this year, which will push it off the top-10 list amid stiff competition, IC Insights said in research report.

In 2016, MediaTek was ranked as the 10th largest IC supplier in the world, with sales of US.8 billion, which made up 2.4 percent the global total sales, IC Insights data showed.

However, MediaTek is facing heavy competition from the American company Qualcomm Inc. and Chinese suppliers such as Spreadtrum Communications Inc. (展訊), in an escalating price war in the China market.

This year, Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea is expected to unseat U.S.-based semiconductor giant Intel Corp. for the first time since 1993 as the world’s largest semiconductor supplier, according to IC Insights.

It forecast that Samsung’s sales are expected to hit US.6 billion, accounting for 15 percent of the total sales on the back of rising prices for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips and NAND Flash memory products.

Intel, meanwhile, will drop to second place in the 2017 rankings with sales of US.0 billion, which will represent a 13.9 percent share of the global market, the market advisory firm forecast.

Another South Korean company, SK Hynix Inc., will be third on the 2017 list, rising two notches from the previous year with a global market share of 6 percent US.2 billion, IC Insights said.

Filling out the top-five list will be two American companies, Micron Technology Inc. with sales of US.4 billion, and Broadcom Ltd. with sales of US.6 billion, IC Insights forecast.

It projected that the other five companies in the top 10 will be Qualcomm Inc. of the U.S. with US.1 billion, U.S.-based Texas Instruments Inc. (US.9 billion), Japan’s Toshiba Corp. (US.5 billion), U.S.-based NVidia Corp. (US.2 billion) and NXP Semiconductors NV of the Netherlands (US.2 billion).

Total sales among the top-10 IC suppliers for 2017 are expected to reach US.7 billion, making up 58.5 percent of the global total, IC insights forecast.

By Jackson Chang and Frances Huang