Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ranking Top IC Foundries (Pure-play and IDM) for 2012

The article below about top IC foundries ranks from 2010 through 2012 documents Samsung's improved foundry position.  The improvement was mainly due to Samsung's complex relationship with Apple.

"the Samsung/Apple IC supply relationship is the large amount of memory, both DRAM and flash, that Apple buys from Samsung, the largest memory manufacturer in the world. Since Apple is such a big memory customer, Samsung is able to “bundle” its IC offerings to Apple and deliver a cost-effective high-volume supply of leading-edge flash memory, DRAM, and application processors to the company."

Samsung is trying to diversify away from Apple (see Samsung Foundry Replacing Apple)

The turn around time for designing and qualifying of a new microprocessor design in a new fab vendor takes many months. Only very few companies have the processing and fab capacity capabilities to manufacture and design a new microprocessor (i.e. Intel and TSMC) This is a result of the continuing consolidation of the semiconductor industry (see March comments Moore's Law End?).

Insightful, timely, and accurate semiconductor consulting.
Semiconductor information and news at -

Samsung Jumps to #3 in 2012 Foundry Ranking, Has Sights Set on #2 Spot in 2013
Apple's application processor business still driving Samsung's foundry success, but for how long?
The 2013 McClean Report analyzes the top 12 IC foundries (pure-play and IDM) for 2012 (Figure 1). TSMC remained the leader; in fact, TSMC’s 2012 sales were almost 4x that of second-ranked GlobalFoundries and more than 10x the sales of the fifth-ranked foundry SMIC. ...

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