Memory sales drive market recovery

Following a 2.5 per cent decline in 2012, the global semiconductor market recovered in 2013 with revenue expanding by nearly five per cent because of the strong performance of the memory sector.

Global semiconductor sales in 2013 amounted to $317.9 billion, up from $302.9 billion in 2012, according to preliminary estimates from the Semiconductor Value Chain Service at IHS. Growth was driven by the strong expansion of the DRAM and NAND flash memory markets. Without these two sectors, the semiconductor industry’s growth in 2013 would have been zero.

Partly because of its success in these markets, US-based Micron Technology grew by an industry-leading 109.2 percent, moving it from number 10 to number four in the rankings. Also benefiting from the memory boom was SK Hynix of South Korea, whose chip revenue grew by 48.7 per cent in 2013. The company jumped to number five, up from number seven in 2012. This performance is all the more outstanding since it was entirely driven by organic sales growth and not by any acquisitions.