According to calculations by market researchers, the industry took off Gartner approximately $583.5 billion. Higher logistics and raw material costs were also responsible for the price increase. The market researchers did not provide any information on the proportion of the increase in sales due to price increases and the expansion of production.
According to Gartner, sales of memory chips grew particularly strongly – by more than a third. As the largest player in the business, Samsung pushed Intel out of the top spot in the industry. According to Gartner figures, the South Korean group achieved semiconductor revenues of almost 76 billion dollars and Intel a good 73 billion dollars.
Since sales of smartphones from the Chinese manufacturer Huawei collapsed as a result of the long-standing US sanctions, the business of the semiconductor subsidiary Hisilicon also shrank rapidly. According to Gartner calculations, sales there fell from 8.1 billion dollars in 2020 to around one billion last year. Other Chinese vendors in particular have taken Huawei’s place in the smartphone market – and that in turn has meant more business for their chip suppliers such as Qualcomm and Mediatek.
During the pandemic, increased working and learning from home had led to a surge in demand for laptops and other electronics, among other things. The capacities in the semiconductor industry were not sufficient and this led to bottlenecks that persist. For some semiconductor products there are waiting times of more than one year.
The shortage hit car manufacturers particularly hard. Many providers had to throttle or stop production several times. Semiconductor vendors are investing billions to expand capacity. However, it may take years for the measures to bear fruit. (dpa/rw)