2007 chip rankings, the Sliders and the Climbers

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Source EE Times

Intel, Sony, Toshiba and Qualcomm are the stars -- or winners -- in iSuppli Corp.'s projected IC rankings for 2007. The losers: AMD, Freescale, among others. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Freescale Semiconductor Inc. are both projected to fall out of the top-10 rankings in terms of sales in 2007. (See charts below.)

Intel Corp., whose chip revenue is expected to rise 7.7 percent to reach $33.97 billion in 2007, will remain the world's largest IC maker in 2007, according to the projected rankings. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is projected to remain in second place in the rankings in terms of projectd IC sales for 2007, according to the research firm. Toshiba Corp. is expected to take third place, jumping over Texas Instruments Inc., who will be in fourth in the projected rankings for 2007, according to the firm. Rounding out the top-10, STMicroelectronics will be in fifth, followed by Hynix, Renesas, Sony, NXP and Infineon, according to the firm.

Sony Corp. and Infineon Technologies AG made their way to the top-10. Sony was in 14th place in 2006, while Infineon was in 15th.

Sony is still in limbo, however. Sony's revenue increase is nearly all due to its sales of chips for the company's PlayStation 3 video-game console, according to iSuppli. Company semiconductor revenue increased to $8 billion in 2007, up from $5.1 billion in 2006, they said. Sony has announced a deal to transfer production of its Cell microprocessor for the PlayStation 3 to Toshiba. If this deal closes before the end of the year, Sony's chip revenue in 2007 in this area will be transferred to Toshiba, based on iSuppli's methodology. Under these circumstances, Toshiba would increase its distance from TI's as the world's No. 3 semiconductor supplier, while Sony would drop out the Top-10 rankings, according to iSuppli.

Meanwhile, Infineon is set to achieve a 14.6 percent increase in semiconductor revenue CY 2007, much of this increase is due to a rise in wireless communications semiconductor sales, they said.

Another star, Qualcomm Inc., is expected to post the third largest increase in revenue among the top-20 semiconductor suppliers in 2007, rising by 23.7 percent to reach $5.6 billion, up from $4.5 billion in CY 2006. This will put Qualcomm into the market's 12th ranking in 2007, up from 16th in 2006. Qualcomm's increase is entirely due to a surge in sales of semiconductors for mobile handsets and infrastructure, the firm said.

Going in the opposite direction, Freescale Semiconductor is set for a 10.7 percent decline in chip sales for 2007. This is primarily due to weakness at Freescale's largest customer, Motorola Inc., which has been losing market share to Nokia and Samsung in mobile handset sales in 2007, according to iSuppli.

And at the same time, Intel outperformed its PC microprocessor rival, AMD, whose sales are expected to decline by 22.7 percent for the year. "Throughout most of the year, Intel successfully defended much of the market share that it won from AMD in the first quarter in the PC microprocessor segment due to the success of its lines of dual- and quad-core chips," said Dale Ford, vice president, market intelligence for iSuppli, in a statement.

"This represents a major reversal of fortune compared to 2006, when AMD had the advantage with its popular dual-core microprocessors, allowing it to gain share from Intel," he said.

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