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Revenue Ranking of Global Top 10 IC Design Companies Shows U.S. Companies Having Divergent Performances in 3Q19, Says TrendForce

4 December 2019 Semiconductors CY Yao

The newest analysis from TrendForce shows that several U.S.-based IC design companies experienced continually expanding losses in 3Q19 revenue because of the ongoing China-U.S. trade war and because Huawei had yet to be removed from the Entity List. Of the U.S.-based companies, Qualcomm demonstrated the greatest revenue loss with a 22% decline.

According to TrendForce senior analyst C.Y. Yao, market leader Broadcom’s revenue was significantly impacted by the fact that the company’s largest customer Huawei was still on the Entity List. Broadcom suffered three consecutive quarters of revenue drops, with the largest drop being 12.3% in 3Q19.

Second-ranked Qualcomm also fell victim to the China-U.S. trade war, as Huawei kept raising its shipment of chipsets by pairing in-house chipsets with its cellphones, compressing the market shares of other Android phone brands and directly impacting Qualcomm’s chipset revenue. As well, Qualcomm faced intense pressure from MediaTek and China-based mobile chipset manufacturer Unisoc, in addition to the overall smartphone market not yet seeing a demand for 5G devices, diminishing Qualcomm’s 3Q19 revenue by 22.3% YoY – the largest decline among the top 10 IC design companies.

By maintaining careful control over its inventory of gaming graphics cards, third-ranked Nvidia was able to reduce its 3Q19 drop in revenue compared to the previous two quarters to a 9.5% decline YoY.

AMD and Xilinx were the only two among all U.S.-based IC design companies to display revenue increases. As a result of the continuing shortage of Intel CPUs, AMD was able to expand its shares in the notebook and PC markets and subsequently increase its 3Q19 revenue by 9% YoY. On the other hand, all product lines offered by Xilinx showed performance growths, including data centers, industrial solutions, network communications, and automotive solutions. Xilinx kept up its double-digit revenue growth in 3Q19 with an 11.7% increase YoY.

Seventh-ranked Marvell registered excellent 1H19 revenues owing to the recent greater-than-expected demand for its storage solutions. However, this demand became weakened in 3Q19. Furthermore, the entity-list-impacted Huawei had been a major customer of Marvell’s networking chip business. As a result, Marvell posted a 3Q19 revenue decline of 16.5% YoY.

As the highlight of Taiwan-based companies, Realtek notched a growth of 30.5% YoY in 3Q19, thanks to its audio, Ethernet, and TV product sales. MediaTek’s 3Q19 revenue, calculated in USD, declined by 1.4% YoY, but this decline became a minor growth of 0.3% when converted into NTD because of the strong sales in the smartphone market and a resurging demand in the consumer electronics market.

Due to the poor performances of the top three U.S.-based IC design companies, the overall revenue of the global IC design industry in 2019 shows a trend of decline. However, should U.S.-based companies manage to redirect their operations to sidestep restrictions posed by the China-U.S. trade war, the IC design market is projected to return to growth in 2020, given the expected recovery of the market for devices such as servers and smartphones, and emerging 5G and AI technology.

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