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Communications Semiconductor Market Share 2017

Published April 2018

Authors: Bob Wheeler

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Market Research From The Industry Experts

"Communications Semiconductor Market Share 2017" provides all-new market share data for 20 categories of communications semiconductors, including Ethernet products and broadband interface chips. It additionally contains data for FPGAs, embedded processors and server processors.

The report provides the detailed market information needed to sort out the dynamics of this market. With this report, chip vendors, investors, and OEMs will readily see which companies are the leading suppliers in a given product market, how these companies' standings have changed over the past year, how big the mature product markets are, and how fast the emerging categories are growing.

Semiconductor product categories covered in the report include Ethernet switch, controller, and PHY components; DSL, PON, and cable-modem chips  and optical-interface and -transport ICs. For server connectivity, we also report Ethernet adapter (NIC) shipments. Among the scores of companies covered are broad-based suppliers, such as Broadcom and Intel, as well as segment-specific vendors such as Cavium and Xilinx.

The report includes a brief text summary providing analysis of the data and a set of market share tables for more than 20 product categories. Companies purchasing a corporate license also receive the tables in Microsoft Excel form.

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This report is written for:

  • Product managers and executives seeking to assess the performance of their product lines over the past year or to identify areas in which to invest or divest
  • Strategic sourcing professionals and engineers at OEMs seeking information about semiconductor suppliers
  • Investors and financial analysts seeking data to support investment decisions

What's New in this Edition

  • Provides 2017 market share data for more than 20 categories, including Ethernet products, broadband interface chips, FPGAs, embedded processors and server processors.
  • New breakout of 100G Ethernet components, including switch and PHY subcategories.

This, our thirteenth-edition market-share report, covers wired communications ASSPs, embedded microprocessors, and FPGAs. Our coverage of wireline technologies includes major product markets such as Ethernet and broadband. We also provide breakouts for the sales of embedded processors and FPGAs for use in communications systems. For completeness, we include merchant server processors, which are sometimes used instead of embedded processors.

Aggregating ASSPs, processors, and FPGAs sold into communications systems, 2017 delivered only modest growth following an outstanding 2016. The weak wireless-infrastructure market continued to hold back the leading FPGA and embedded-processor vendors in that segment, dampening overall growth. Wired communications performed well across most segments, but a down year for optical components held overall ASSP growth to 1.7%. Hyperscale data centers drove excellent growth in 10Gbps-and-above Ethernet switching, whereas slowing Chinese PON deployments constrained broadband growth.

Following rapid growth in 2016, the total market for Ethernet ICs rose a healthy 9.1% in 2017. The standard for PC connections, Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) components fell to 43% of sales, whereas sales of 10G Ethernet (10GbE) ICs held steady, also at 43% of the total. Note this category includes chips used in 40G Ethernet switch systems, as the same chips service 10GbE and 40GbE designs. Most of the remainder came from sales of 25G, 50G, and 100G Ethernet chips, which grew rapidly from a small 2016 base thanks to deployments by hyperscale data-center operators.

Broadband ICs had a mixed year, with DSL growing, cable modems stable, and PON suffering a downturn. Chinese deployments have dominated the PON market for the last several years, but FTTH subscriber additions slowed in 2017 as conversion of DSL subscribers to PON neared completion. Deployments in other geographies have been “in the noise” when compared with China’s scale. On the plus side, with over 300 million FTTH subscribers worldwide, CPE upgrades are now driving significant volume, following the trend in DSL. Overall, the PON IC market contracted slightly in 2017.

Top 5 Communications ASSP Suppliers

With 53% share, Broadcom is undisputedly the overall leading supplier of communications ASSPs. The top-ranked vendor outperformed the overall market again in 2017 primarily owing to the strong performance of its Ethernet businesses. The company’s leading position in the 10Gbps- and-above Ethernet switch segment drove share gains in overall Ethernet chips. Strong performance in both DSL CPE and cable modems offset the PON decline in China.

Second-place Intel lost overall share due to share loss in cable modems as well as declining revenue from several legacy product lines. Note, however, that our ASSP estimate excludes Intel’s sizable board-level Ethernet business. We estimate growth in server-NIC revenue more than offset the company’s declining chip-level (ASSP) sales. The shift to board-level products echoes a broader trend in server connectivity, where OEMs and hyperscale data-center operators increasingly consume adapters rather than chips.

Marvell’s ASSP revenue declined in 2017 after the company in 2016 narrowed its networking focus to Ethernet and embedded processors, both of which were about flat in 2017. Legacy products dragged down its overall ASSP revenue. Marvell’s pending Cavium acquisition will greatly increase its embedded-processor share but will have a lesser impact in networking ASSPs.

Microsemi moved into fourth place in 2016 through its acquisition of PMC-Sierra, which added a growing OTN business to the company’s portfolio. It underperformed the overall ASSP market in 2017 due to share loss in Ethernet as well as in legacy PON products. Microsemi has a growing FPGA business, which we exclude from our ASSP total. Microchip’s pending acquisition will result in communications becoming a much smaller portion of revenue than it was for Microsemi.

Inphi retained our fifth spot despite the inventory correction in optical components. That setback did, however, result in a 2017 revenue decline following a blowout 2016. The company believes 1Q18 represented the bottom of that correction, which should enable a return to growth.

Embedded Processors and FPGAs

Intel is unchallenged as the number-one embedded-processor supplier, commanding 51% revenue share, and it gained share in 2017. NXP entered this market through its acquisition of Freescale and holds second place by a wide margin. Posting a revenue decline, NXP lost share as it weathers a PowerPC-to-ARM transition. Broadcom held third place in overall embedded processors, whereas Cavium was third in processors sold into communications.

Overall FPGA revenue grew 9.2% in 2017, but the weak wireless-infrastructure market held back the communications segment. Top-ranked Xilinx and second-place Intel (formerly Altera) both slightly underperformed the overall market. Privately held Achronix entered our 2017 rankings for FPGAs used in communications.

List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
About the Publisher
Executive Summary
1 Introduction
Product Categorization
Wireline Communications
General-Purpose Use
Report Organization
2 Overview
3 Processors
Network Processors
Embedded Processors
Integrated Base-Station Processors
Server Processors
4 Ethernet
All Ethernet ICs
25G/50G/100G Ethernet Switch and PHY Chips
10G/40G Ethernet Switch and PHY Chips
10G Ethernet NICs and Controller ICs
Gigabit Ethernet Switch ICs and Multiport PHYs
Gigabit Ethernet Controller ICs and Single-Port PHYs
Fast Ethernet Switch, PHY, and NIC/LOM ICs
25G and 40G Ethernet NICs and Controller ICs
Smart NICs
5 Broadband
DSL Interface ICs
PON
Cable-Modem ICs
6 Other Networking ASSPs
Optical-Transport ICs
Optical-Interface ICs
Network Search Engines
Home-Networking ASSPs
7 FPGAs
8 Methodology and Accounting
Methodology
Accounting Rules
9 Revisions
New Companies
Revised Estimates
Figure 1-1. Taxonomy of wired-communications ASSPs.
Figure 2-1. Worldwide revenue market share of the top 10 vendors of wired-communications ASSPs.
Figure 2-2. Worldwide revenue for wired-communications ASSPs by category.
Figure 2-3. Worldwide revenue for ASSPs, embedded processors, and FPGAs for communications.
Figure 3-1. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four vendors of network processors.
Figure 3-2. Worldwide revenue market share of the top seven vendors of embedded microprocessors.
Figure 3-3. Worldwide revenue market share of the top six vendors of embedded processors for use in communications systems.
Figure 3-4. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four vendors of embedded processors for use in storage systems.
Figure 3-5. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four vendors of embedded processors for other use.
Figure 3-6. Worldwide revenue market share of the top five vendors of integrated base-station processors.
Figure 3-7. Worldwide revenue market share of the top two vendors of merchant server processors.
Figure 4-1. Worldwide revenue market share of the top five vendors of all Ethernet ICs.
Figure 4-2. Worldwide revenue market share of the top two vendors of 100G Ethernet switch chips.
Figure 4-3. Worldwide revenue market share of the top two vendors of 100G Ethernet PHY chips.
Figure 4-4. Worldwide revenue market share of the top three vendors of 10G Ethernet Switch.
Figure 4-5. Worldwide revenue market share of the top two vendors of 10G optical PHY.
Figure 4-6. Worldwide revenue market share of the top three vendors of 10Gbase-T PHY.
Figure 4-7. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four vendors of 10G Ethernet NICs.
Figure 4-8. Worldwide unit shipment market share of the top four vendors of 10G Ethernet NICs.
Figure 4-9. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four vendors of Gigabit Ethernet Controller Chips.
Figure 4-10. Worldwide port shipment market of the top four vendors of 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller Chips.
Figure 4-11. WWorldwide revenue market share of the top five vendors of Gigabit Ethernet switch ICs and multi-port PHYs.
Figure 4-12. Worldwide revenue market share of the top five vendors of GbE controller ICs and single-port PHYs.
Figure 4-13. Worldwide revenue of the top five vendors of Fast Ethernet switch, PHY, NIC/LOM ICs.
Figure 4-14. Worldwide port shipment market share of the top four vendors of 25G Ethernet NICs & Controller Chips.
Figure 4-15. Worldwide port shipment market share of the top two vendors of 40G Ethernet NICs & Controller Chips.
Figure 4-16. Worldwide revenue market share of top 3 vendors of Smart NICs.
Figure 5-1. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four vendors of DSL interface ICs.
Figure 5-2. Worldwide revenue market share of the top three vendors of DSL interface ICs for aggregation.
Figure 5-3. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four vendors of DSL interface ICs for CPE.
Figure 5-4. Worldwide revenue market share of the top six vendors of PON interface ICs.
Figure 5-5. Worldwide revenue market share of the top two vendors of cable-modem ICs.
Figure 6-1. Worldwide revenue market share of the top three vendors of optical-transport (OTN and Sonet) ICs.
Figure 6-2. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four vendors of optical-interface ICs.
Figure 6-3. Worldwide revenue market share of the top two vendors of network search engines.
Figure 6-4. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four vendors of home-networking ASSPs.
Figure 7-1. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four vendors of FPGAs.
Figure 7-2. Worldwide revenue market share of the top five vendors of FPGAs for use in communications systems.
Table 2-1. Worldwide revenue of the top 20 vendors of wired-communications ASSPs.
Table 2-2. Worldwide revenue for wired-communications ASSPs by category.
Table 2-3. Worldwide revenue for ASSPs, embedded processors, and FPGAs for communications.
Table 3-1. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of network processors.
Table 3-2. Worldwide revenue of the top seven vendors of embedded microprocessors.
Table 3-3. Worldwide revenue of the top six vendors of embedded processors for use in communications systems.
Table 3-4. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of embedded processors for use in storage systems.
Table 3-5. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of embedded processors for other use.
Table 3-6. Worldwide revenue of the top five vendors of integrated base-station processors.
Table 3-7. Worldwide revenue of the top two vendors of merchant server processors.
Table 4-1. Worldwide revenue of the top five vendors of all Ethernet ICs.
Table 4-2. Worldwide revenue of the top two vendors of 100G Ethernet switch chips.
Table 4-3. Worldwide revenue market share of the top two vendors of 100G Ethernet PHY chips.
Table 4-4. Worldwide revenue market share of the top three vendors of 10G.
Table 4-5. Worldwide revenue of the top two vendors of 10G optical PHY.
Table 4-6. Worldwide revenue of the top three vendors of 10GBase-T PHY.
Table 4-7. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of 10G Ethernet NICs.
Table 4-8. Worldwide port shipments of the top four vendors of 10G Ethernet NICs.
Table 4-9. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller Chips.
Table 4-10. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller Chips.
Table 4-11. Worldwide revenue of the top five vendors of Gigabit Ethernet switch ICs and multi-port PHYs.
Table 4-12. Worldwide revenue of the top five vendors of GbE controller ICs and single-port PHYs.
Table 4-13. Worldwide revenue of the top five vendors of Fast Ethernet switch, PHY, NIC/LOM ICs.
Table 4-14. Worldwide port shipments of the top four vendors of 25G Ethernet NICs & Controller Chips.
Table 4-15. Worldwide port shipments of the top two vendors of 40G Ethernet NICs & Controller Chips.
Table 4-16. Worldwide revenue of the top three vendors of Smart NICs.
Table 5-1. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of DSL interface ICs.
Table 5-2. Worldwide revenue of the top three vendors of DSL interface ICs for aggregation.
Table 5-3. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of DSL interface ICs for CPE.
Table 5-4. Worldwide revenue of the top five vendors of PON interface ICs.
Table 5-5. Worldwide revenue of the top two vendors of cable-modem ICs.
Table 6-1. Worldwide revenue of the top three vendors of optical-transport (OTN and Sonet) ICs.
Table 6-2. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of optical-interface ICs.
Table 6-3. Worldwide revenue of the top two vendors of network search engines.
Table 6-4. Worldwide revenue of top four vendors of home-networking ASSPs.
Table 7-1. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of FPGAs.
Table 7-2. Worldwide revenue of the top five vendors of FPGAs for use in communications systems.

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