SMIC, Tower, X-Fab are strongest growing pure-play foundries

January 16, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
TSMC, the largest pure-play foundry, tracked the 11 percent growth of the market in 2016 maintaining its market share at 59 percent, but a number of smaller foundries showed higher growth, according to IC Insights.

The overall market grew 11 percent in 2016 to reach $50 billion in annual revenues but SMIC, Tower and X-Fab each grew by 30 percent or more.

The pure-play foundry market is forecast to increase in significance with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6 percent over the period 2016 to 2021, which would take it to $72.1 billion in 2021. This is set to exceed total semiconductor market growth as more companies discontinue their own chip manufacturing and more fabless chip companies enter the market.

Top ten pure-play foundries ranked by 2016 revenues. Source: IC Insights.

The top four pure-play foundries are TSMC, Globalfoundries, UMC and SMIC. It is notable that fast growing SMIC gained market share at the expense of UMC, according to IC Insights. Europe's X-Fab, wihihc specializes in analog, mixed-signal, and high-voltage devices, achieved a 54 percent jump in sales in 2016 partly by acquiring Altis in 3Q16 (see X-Fab to swallow Altis Semiconductor ).

Tower Semiconductor and SMIC have been showing strong growth for several years. Europe-headquartered X-Fab, Israel-based Tower, and US-headquartered Globalfoundries are the only non-Asia-Pacific companies in the top 10 group.

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