EETimes.com – Foundry rankings: New firm emerges; Samsung, IBM lag

EETimes.com – Foundry rankings: New firm emerges; Samsung, IBM lag.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Market research house IC Insights Inc. has released its rankings for the top 17 foundries in terms of sales in 2009.Most foundries lost share amid the downturn. One vendor, U.S.-based GlobalFoundries Inc., entered the rankings picture at the No. 5 spot. And the IDM foundries, namely IBM, Samsung and TI, lagged the field.

The pure-play vendors in Taiwan led the field. ”TSMC’s sales in 2009 were more than 3x that of UMC, which in turn had more than the combined foundry sales of Chartered and SMIC in 2009,” according to IC Insights.

”In 2007, SMIC moved past Chartered in sales and took over third place. However, with SMIC’s exit from the DRAM foundry business in 2008, coupled with Chartered’s acquisition of the Hitachi fab in Singapore, Chartered once again seized the third place ranking from SMIC in 2008. In 2009, Chartered’s sales were 43 percent greater than fourth-ranked SMIC,” according to the report.

”AMD spin-off GlobalFoundries acquired Chartered in 4Q09 and combined, would have had sales of just over $1.6 billion in 2009,” according to the report. ”The combined sales of Chartered and GlobalFoundries would have been just over $2.6 billion in 2009, enough to put the combined company’s sales only 8 percent behind second-ranked UMC.”

In 2008, the new silicon foundry spinoff from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) opened for business, disclosed its corporate name and unveiled its strategy. GlobalFoundries is a joint venture between AMD and the Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi. Under the current plan, AMD owns a 34.2 percent stake of the foundry venture, while ATIC will own the remaining shares.

Last year, TowerJazz gained share. More than one year after buying Jazz Semiconductor Inc., Israel’s Tower Semiconductor Ltd.–or TowerJazz–is now taking steps to reach its two main goals in its ongoing turnaround efforts. It hopes to finally reach profitability and become the world’s largest player in the wide-open specialty foundry business in 2010.

The IDM foundries are lagging, including IBM and Samsung. For years, Samsung has been in the foundry business and claims it wants to become a major player in the arena. Samsung entered the foundry business in 2006 with sales of about $75 million. In 2007, it had sales of $385 million, according to IC Insights, although this was behind other leading IDMs that are in the foundry arena.

Samsung, which is spending a ton in R&D, was in the ninth place in 2009. Its 2008 foundry sales were $370 million. Its 2009 foundry sales were $325 million, down 12 percent.

Enclosed are the rankings. The rankings include the company, followed in parentheses by 2008 sales, followed in parentheses by 2009 sales and percentage growth.

1. TSMC–(2008–$10.556 billion)(2009–$8.989 billion -15%)

2. UMC–(2008–$3.070 billion)(2009–$2.815 billion -8%)

3. Chartered*–(2008–$1.743 billion)(2009–$1.540 billion -12%)

4. SMIC–(2008–$1.353 billion)(2009–$1.075 billion -21%)

5. GlobalFoundries–(2008–$0)(2009–$1.065 billion N/A)

6. Dongbu (2008–$490 million)(2009–$395 million -19%)

7. Vanguard (2008–$511 million)(2009–$382 million -25%)

8. IBM (2008–$400 million)(2009–$335 million -16%)

9. Samsung (2008–$370 million)(2009–$325 million -12%)

10. Grace (2008–$335 million)(2009–$310 million -7%)

11. He Jian (2008–$345 million)(2009–$305 million -12%)

12. Tower**(2008–$252 million)(2009–$292 million 16%)

13. HHNEC (2008–$350 million)(2009–$290 million -17%)

14. SSMC (2008–$340 million)(2009–$280 million -18%)

15. TI (2008–$315 million)(2009–$250 million -21%)

16. X-Fab (2008–$368 million)(2009–$223 million -39%)

17. MagnaChip (2008–$290 million)(2009–$220 million -24%)

*Purchased by GlobalFoundries in 4Q09.**Tower bought Jazz in 2008.

  1. Samsung’s struggle in system LSI business costs life of prominent engineer/manager, Won-Sung Lee. Dr. Lee was a head of system LSI research center last year. Due to the struggle of the business, he stepped down to the fab manager this year. I would think knowing fab is also very important to get into very top level, but he may think it’s a disgrace. Often research folks think fab engineers are second grade citizen, but in fact they are the ones who actually make money. It’s important to know the mechanics of fab operation to truly become a leader. I regret that the one who made such decision to place him in fab manager should communicate to him more in detail why it’s important to him to build experience on fab operation. It certainly would be a demotion in general sense that executive VP takes senior VP’s job. Samsung had to make a position that is suitable for EVP while providing same job description as intended.
    For Dr. Lee, Samsung is whole world, and getting ignored and under-appreciated from it would be more than simple demotion.
    In western sense, it’s not a big deal at all, but in oriental culture, it’s a huge deal that one would protest by sacrificing own life. Given such possibility, Samsung needs a bit more humane touch on controversial HR movement.

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