Thursday, April 28th 2022

Amid Rising Volume and Pricing, Top 10 IC Design Companies Post 2021 Revenue Topping US$100 Billion

According to TrendForce research, due to vigorous stocking of various terminal applications causing a shortage of wafers in 2021, the global IC industry was severely undersupplied. This, coupled with spiking chip prices, boosted 2021 revenue of the global top ten IC design companies to US$127.4 billion, or 48% YoY. TrendForce further indicates three major disparities from the 2020 ranking. First, NVIDIA surpassed Broadcom to take the second position. Second, Taiwanese companies Novatek and Realtek rose to sixth and eighth place, respectively. Originally ranked tenth, Dialog was replaced at this position by Himax after Dialog was acquired by IDM giant Renesas.

Qualcomm continues its reign as number one in the world, primarily due to 51% and 63% growth YoY in sales of mobile phone SoC (System on Chip) and IoT chips, respectively. The addition of diversified development in its RF and automotive chip businesses were key to a 51% increase in revenue. NVIDIA implemented an integration of software and hardware, demonstrating its ambitions in creating a "comprehensive computing platform." Driven by annual growth of gaming graphics card and data center revenue at 64% and 59%, respectively, NVIDIA successfully climbed to second place. Broadcom benefited from the stable sales performance of network chips, broadband communication chips, and storage and bridging chips, with revenue growing 18% YoY. AMD's computer and graphics revenue grew by 45% YoY due to strong sales of the Ryzen CPU and Radeon GPU and rising average selling price. Coupled with accelerating demand from cloud companies, the annual revenue of AMD's enterprise, embedded, and semi-customized divisions increased by 113%, driving annual growth of total revenue to 68%.
In terms of Taiwanese firms, MediaTek's strategy of focusing on mobile phone SoC has produced miraculous results. Benefiting from an increase in 5G penetration, sales performance of MediaTek's mobile phone product portfolio surged by 93% and the company has committed to increasing the proportion of high-end product portfolios, resulting in 61% annual revenue growth. Novatek's two major product lines of SoC and display driver IC have both grown significantly. Due to improved product specifications, increased shipments, and beneficial pricing gains, revenue grew by 79% YoY, highest among the top ten. Realtek has been driven by strong demand for Netcom and commercial notebook products, while the performance of audio and Bluetooth chips remains quite stable, conferring an annual revenue growth of 43%. Himax joins the top ten ranking for the first time in 2021. Due to significant annual revenue growth in large-sized and medium/small-sized driver IC of 65% and 87%, respectively, and the successful introduction of driver IC into automotive panels, total revenue exceeded US$1.5 billion, or 74% YoY.

Looking forward to 2022, after AMD completes the acquisition of Xilinx, other players will fill out the rankings. In the broader picture, intensifying demand for high-specification products such as high-performance computing, Netcom, high-speed transmission, servers, automotive, and industrial applications will create good business opportunities for IC design companies and drive overall revenue growth. However, terminal system manufacturers face the correction of component mismatch issues. In addition, growing foundry costs, intensifying geopolitical conflicts, and rising inflation will all be detrimental to global economic growth and may impact an already weakened consumer electronics market. These are the challenges IC design companies face in 2022 and by what means can product sales momentum be maintained within existing production capacity, R&D efficacy strengthened, and chip specifications upgraded, will become the primary focus of development in 2022.
Source: TrendForce
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16 Comments on Amid Rising Volume and Pricing, Top 10 IC Design Companies Post 2021 Revenue Topping US$100 Billion

#1
R0H1T
At this rate AMD could well top $30 billion in just a couple of years! I think the numbers above don't include Xilinx as yet?
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#2
Daven
R0H1TAt this rate AMD could well top $30 billion in just a couple of years! I think the numbers above don't include Xilinx as yet?
Xilinx numbers are a separate entry in the list above. You can add the two together if you like for just over $20 billion in revenue.
Posted on Reply
#3
napata
R0H1TAt this rate AMD could well top $30 billion in just a couple of years! I think the numbers above don't include Xilinx as yet?
Let's hope not and that it all comes crashing down again so we can get some affordable hardware again.
Posted on Reply
#4
Daven
napataLet's hope not and that it all comes crashing down again so we can get some affordable hardware again.
I’m guessing you are new to the tech scene. Intel has been posting revenues far above $30 billion for years and they have had competitive pricing most of the time. Companies should and need to make record revenues to drive R&D, buy fab allotment to supply demand and remain solvent through rough economic conditions. No one and I mean no one should want decreased revenues and especially not want just one player making huge sums over everyone else. That kills competition.

Edit: By the way, increasing fab buying capacity allows companies to provide more SKUs down to budget processors. Under constrained allotment, companies tend to focus only on more expensive higher margin parts.

Edit2: And its a bidding war right now for fab allotment. AMD needs all the money it can get to secure the allotment it needs over fat money bag companies such as Intel.
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#6
napata
DavenI’m guessing you are new to the tech scene. Intel has been posting revenues far above $30 billion for years and they have had competitive pricing most of the time. Companies should and need to make record revenues to drive R&D, buy fab allotment to supply demand and remain solvent through rough economic conditions. No one and I mean no one should want decreased revenues and especially not want just one player making huge sums over everyone else. That kills competition.

Edit: By the way, increasing fab buying capacity allows companies to provide more SKUs down to budget processors. Under constrained allotment, companies tend to focus only on more expensive higher margin parts.

Edit2: And its a bidding war right now for fab allotment. AMD needs all the money it can get to secure the allotment it needs over fat money bag companies such as Intel.
I'm not talking about absolute revenue numbers. These YOY revenue increases are anything but normal and are a result of us paying more. A 70% increase in a single year is ridiculous and the result of us paying more than ever for hardware. If the demand remains like this the entire budget market will get erased. I would think AMD's behaviour in the budget segment would make this clear.

Trickle down economics have never really been a thing and increased profits never benefit consumers. It's how people try to defend companies making record profit. In all the years I've been buying hardware this past year and a half was the absolute worst. When I then see these companies make tons of money on the backs of consumers then that rubs me the wrong way. The only people who should be cheering are stock holders.
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#7
Daven
napataI'm not talking about absolute revenue numbers. These YOY revenue increases are anything but normal and are a result of us paying more. A 70% increase in a single year is ridiculous and the result of us paying more than ever for hardware. If the demand remains like this the entire budget market will get erased. I would think AMD's behaviour in the budget segment would make this clear.

Trickle down economics have never really been a thing and increased profits never benefit consumers. It's how people try to defend companies making record profit. In all the years I've been buying hardware this past year and a half was the absolute worst. When I then see these companies make tons of money on the backs of consumers then that rubs me the wrong way. The only people who should be cheering are stock holders.
Again Intel made YoY revenue increases and high margins for the better part of two decades before cryptocurrency and the pandemic.

There are still CPUs available today down to $60 and GPU prices are wholly the fault of miners and AIBs. AMD and Nvidia sell reference at MSRP and fixed OEM volume pricing to AIBs.
The huge increases YoY for AMD and Nvidia are due to increased demand for work at home technology, early console cycle parts and enterprise/cloud/HPC. Also chips are going into more and more places which is constraining manufacturing.
Posted on Reply
#8
thegnome
napataLet's hope not and that it all comes crashing down again so we can get some affordable hardware again.
Or hope that AMD finally has the courage to produce good lower end stuff while still competing in the high end.
Posted on Reply
#9
TheLostSwede
DeathtoGnomesIntel is not on that list. hmm.
They're not fabless.
Posted on Reply
#10
Daven
TheLostSwedeThey're not fabless.
If Intel were in that list the 2021 revenue is $79 billion. That sounds like they are killing it but YoY growth was just 1%.

Competition has stalled chipzilla for now. Its no wonder they are looking at other markets such as GPUs and providing fab manufacturing to third parties.
Posted on Reply
#11
kapone32
DavenAgain Intel made YoY revenue increases and high margins for the better part of two decades before cryptocurrency and the pandemic.

There are still CPUs available today down to $60 and GPU prices are wholly the fault of miners and AIBs. AMD and Nvidia sell reference at MSRP and fixed OEM volume pricing to AIBs.
The huge increases YoY for AMD and Nvidia are due to increased demand for work at home technology, early console cycle parts and enterprise/cloud/HPC. Also chips are going into more and more places which is constraining manufacturing.
Can you actually buy a PS5?
Posted on Reply
#12
mechtech
That is some serious YoY increase in profits!!

Feels more like mark ups helped those profits vs additional products sold.
Posted on Reply
#13
Wirko
Has any analyst at least tried to put an estimate on Intel's chip design revenue and foundry revenue separately?
Posted on Reply
#14
trsttte
WirkoHas any analyst at least tried to put an estimate on Intel's chip design revenue and foundry revenue separately?
They are not yet selling foundry services so doesn't really make sense to do so (surely some info is in the earnings reports)
Posted on Reply
#15
jeremyshaw
trsttteThey are not yet selling foundry services so doesn't really make sense to do so (surely some info is in the earnings reports)
Intel reported ~$250 million for their foundry services last quarter (~$100m the quarter before) . Though that would only encapsulate their 3rd party sales and ignore all 1st party volume.
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