Worldwide semi-conductor market suffers historic downturn

Stamford, Ct (USA)

Worldwide semiconductor revenue in 2023 totaled $533 billion, a decrease of 11.1% from 2022, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc.  However, Nvidia heavily outperformed the market and moved into the top five spot for the first time, due, according to Gartner, to its activities in the AI market.

“While the cyclicality in the semiconductor industry was present again in 2023, the market suffered a difficult year with memory revenue recording one of its worst declines in history,” said Alan Priestley, VP Analyst at Gartner.

“The underperforming market also negatively impacted several semiconductor vendors. Only 9 of the top 25 semiconductor vendors posted revenue growth in 2023, with 10 experiencing double-digit declines,” continued Priestley.

The combined semiconductor revenue of the top 25 semiconductor vendors, according to Gartner, declined 14.1% in 2023, accounting for 74.4% of the market, down from 77.2% in 2022.

Following the underperformance of memory vendors in 2023, the ranking of the top 10 semiconductor vendors changed year-over-year, but with Intel retaining the number one spot from Samsung, after two years in second position. Gartner information shows that Intel’s 2023 revenue totalled $48.7 billion while Samsung’s revenue reached $39.9 billion.

The Nvidia 2023 semiconductor revenue grew 56.4% to total $24 billion, propelling the company into the top five for the first time ever. This is due to its leading position in the artificial intelligence (AI) silicon market.

Additionally, ST Microelectronics moved up three slots to secure the number 8 spot – the same position it held in 2019. Its revenue increased 7.7% in 2023, largely driven by a strong position in the automotive segment.

Memory revenue declined 37% in 2023

Revenue for memory products declined 37% in 2023, experiencing the biggest decline of all the segments in the semiconductor market. “Smartphones, PCs and servers, three of the largest segments for DRAM and NAND, faced weaker than expected demand and excess channel inventory, especially in the first half of 2023,” said Joe Unsworth, VP Analyst at Gartner. In 2023, DRAM revenue declined 38.5% to total $48.4 billion and NAND flash revenue decreased from 37.5% to $36.2 billion.

Nonmemory revenue declined 3% in 2023

Nonmemory revenue fared better and declined 3% in 2023. The market witnessed weaker demand and excess channel inventory negatively impacted the segment throughout the year.

“Unlike the memory vendors, most non-memory vendors experienced a relatively benign pricing environment in 2023,” said Unsworth. “The demand for non-memory semiconductors for AI applications was the strongest growth driver, with the automotive sector (especially electric vehicles), defense and aerospace industries, also outperforming most other application segments.”


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