The top ten fabless chip design companies last year saw their sales grow 26.4% year-on-year, according to market research firm TrendForce.
The pandemic, which “seemed at first poised to devastate” the chip design industry, led to spike in notebook computers and networking products, the firm said.
Eight out of the top ten fabless companies saw growth thanks to this last year.
Qualcomm surpassed Broadcom to lead the pack. Qualcomm recorded US$19.47 billion in sales, an increase of 33.7% from 2019. Runner-up Broadcom recorded sales of US$17.745 billion, a decline of 2.9% in the same time period.
Qualcomm was able to overtake Broadcom from sudden demand surge for network devices and Apple’s decision adopt Qualcomm’s baseband processors again, TrendForce said.
US sanctions against Huawei also prompted other smartphone brands to ramp up their production volumes in an attempt to seize additional market shares also helped, the research firm said.
Third-place Nvidia recorded US$15.412 billion in sales last year, a jump of 52.2% from 2019. The acquisition of Mellanox contributed US$6.4 billion in sales in sales to Nvidia’s data center solution business, which allowed the high growth, the firm said.
AMD also recorded impressive sales of US$9.763 billion, a jump of 45% from 2019. The company increased its share in notebook, desktop and server CPU by launching 7-nanometer chips first, the research firm said.
MediaTek recorded US$10.9 billion in sales, an increase of 37.3%, thanks to high demand for application processors for 5G smartphones. Novatek’s sales grew 30.1% thanks to high demand for driver IC and TV system-on-a-chip. Realtek saw sales increase of 34.1% from audio and Bluetooth chip sales.
Meanwhile, Xilinx saw sales decline 5.6% to US$3.053 billion. Sales from network products in China dropped from the trade war between the US and China. Dialog its sales drop 3.2%. The company has saw its sales decline since Apple developed its own power management chips.