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Communications Semiconductor Market Share 2018

Published May 2019

Authors: Bob Wheeler

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Market Research From The Industry Experts

"Communications Semiconductor Market Share 2018" 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 Inphi 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

  • Now includes revenue market share for 25G Ethernet adapters (NICs).
  • Now includes revenue market share for 40G Ethernet adapters (NICs).
  • New roll up of broadband-interface IC revenue across DSL, PON and cable categories.
  • Provides 2018 market share data for more than 20 categories, including Ethernet products, broadband-interface chips, FPGAs, embedded processors and server processors.

This, our 14th annual 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, 2018 delivered only modest growth following 2017's similarly slow growth. The wireless-infrastructure market remained weak owing to the pause between 4G and 5G deployments, with the latter generating little 2018 revenue. Wireless infrastructure held back FPGA and embedded-processor sales, dampening overall growth. In wired communications, Ethernet drove robust growth while broadband was nearly flat. Optical components suffered another down year, posting double-digit declines. Overall, wired-communications ASSP growth was a meager 1.3%.

The total market for Ethernet ICs posted strong growth of 8.7% in 2018. The standard for PC connections, Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) components fell to 38% of sales, whereas sales of 10G Ethernet (10GbE) ICs held steady 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 in aggregate grew 73% in 2018.

Broadband ICs were about flat overall, but cable modems grew while DSL contracted and PON growth stalled. 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 more than 400 million FTTH subscribers worldwide, CPE upgrades are now driving significant volume, following the trend in DSL. Overall, the merchant PON IC market was flat in 2018.

Top 5 Communications ASSP Suppliers

With 56% share, Broadcom is undisputedly the overall leading supplier of communications ASSPs. The top-ranked vendor outperformed the overall market again in 2018 primarily owing to the strong performance of its Ethernet businesses. The company's leading position in 100Gbps Ethernet switching drove a small share gain in overall Ethernet chips. Broadband created a drag on overall growth, with both DSL and PON sales declining.

Second-place Intel lost overall share due to share loss in cable modems as well as declining revenue from several legacy product lines. Ethernet-controller sales grew, but not enough to fully offset the broadband decline. Note that our ASSP estimate excludes Intel's sizable board-level Ethernet business.

Marvell's Cavium acquisition had a relatively small impact on ASSP revenue, whereas it greatly increased embedded-processor share. The combined company's ASSP revenue declined slightly in 2018, with Ethernet revenue nearly flat and smaller segments declining.

Microchip moved into fourth place through its Microsemi acquisition. The acquired company had picked up PMC-Sierra in 2016, adding an OTN business to its portfolio. Microchip, including Microsemi, had a flat 2018 as declining legacy products offset a small amount of Ethernet growth. The Microsemi acquisition also makes Microchip the third-largest FPGA vendor, but we exclude that revenue from our ASSP total.

Inphi held onto our fifth spot despite a consecutive decline in optical components. Although 1Q18 represented the bottom of a lengthy correction, full-year 2018 revenue declined over that of 2017. In addition, declining legacy products offset strong growth in Ethernet PHYs.

Embedded Processors and FPGAs

Intel is unchallenged as the number-one embedded-processor supplier, commanding 58% revenue share, and it gained share in 2018. NXP entered this market through its acquisition of Freescale and holds second place. Posting a revenue decline, NXP lost share as it weathers a PowerPC-to-ARM transition. Marvell's acquisition of Cavium created a strong third-place contender, and it moved the company past NXP for second place in processors sold into communications. That acquisition dropped Broadcom to fourth place in overall embedded processors, with AMD a distant fifth.

Overall FPGA revenue broke the $5 billion mark in 2018, growing 15% over a record 2017. The communications segment caused a market decline in 2015–2016 and held back growth again in 2018. That situation is reversing in 2019 as 5G infrastructure restarts wireless growth. Top-ranked Xilinx outperformed the overall market, whereas second-place Intel (formerly Altera) matched market growth. Microchip entered at third through its Microsemi acquisition.

List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
About the Publisher
Executive Summary
1 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
Broadband Interface ICs
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 five vendors of embedded microprocessors
Figure 3‑3. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four 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 three 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. Worldwide 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 revenue market share of the top four vendors of 25G Ethernet NICs
Figure 4‑15. Worldwide port shipment market share of the top four vendors of 25G Ethernet NICs & Controller Chips
Figure 4‑16. Worldwide revenue market share of the top two vendors of 40G Ethernet NICs
Figure 4‑17. Worldwide port shipment market share of the top two vendors of 40G Ethernet NICs
Figure 4‑18. Worldwide revenue market share of the top 3 vendors of Smart NICs
Figure 5‑1. Worldwide revenue market share of the top four vendors of broadband interface ICs
Figure 5‑2. Worldwide revenue market share of the top two vendors of DSL interface ICs for aggregation
Figure 5‑3. Worldwide revenue market share of the top three vendors of DSL interface ICs for CPE
Figure 5‑4. Worldwide revenue market share of the top five 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 five 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 18 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
able 3‑1. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of network processors
Table 3‑2. Worldwide revenue of the top five vendors of embedded microprocessors
Table 3‑3. Worldwide revenue of the top four 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 three 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 Ethernet Switch
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 port shipments 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 revenue of the top four vendors of 25G Ethernet NICs
Table 4‑15. Worldwide port shipments of the top four vendors of 25G Ethernet NICs
Table 4‑16. Worldwide revenue of the top two vendors of 40G Ethernet NICs
Table 4‑17. Worldwide port shipments of the top two vendors of 40G Ethernet NICs
Table 4‑18. Worldwide revenue of the top three vendors of Smart NICs
Table 5‑1. Worldwide revenue of the top four vendors of broadband interface ICs
Table 5‑2. Worldwide revenue of the top two vendors of DSL interface ICs for aggregation
Table 5‑3. Worldwide revenue of the top three 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 five 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 the 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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