SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- US-based companies dominated the worldwide IC market in 2018, holding just over half the total market share, according to new data compiled by IC Insights.

The US was followed by South Korean companies, with a 27% share, up three percentage points from 2017. Taiwanese companies, on the strength of fabless company IC sales, held a 6% share of total IC sales, even with European companies, the researchers said.

Overall, South Korean and Japanese companies have an extremely weak presence in the fabless IC segment and the Taiwanese and Chinese companies have a very low share of the IDM portion of the IC market, IC Insights said. Overall, U.S.-headquartered companies show the most balance with regard to IDM, fabless, and total IC industry marketshare.

Driven by a surge in DRAM and NAND flash memory IC sales in 2018, South Korean-headquartered companies, primarily Samsung and SK Hynix, registered a 26% sales increase, outpacing Chinese companies by three percentage points last year.

South Korean and Chinese companies were the only regions or countries to grow faster than the total IC industry (14%) last year. However, with the memory market expected to show a huge 30% drop in 2019, it is likely that South Korean companies will go from “first to worst” regarding IC sales growth by company headquarters location this year as compared to last year, IC Insights said.



Figure 1. 2018 IDM and fabless company shares of IC sales as well as the total worldwide share of the IC market by company location.

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