SEOUL, Korea, Mar 25 (Korea Bizwire) – Powered by an overwhelming gain in the memory sector, Korea secured the No. 2 position in semiconductor output, beating its archrival Japan last year for the first time.
According to a recent report by IHS Technology, a U.S. market researcher, Korea ranked second in the chip-making industry with 16.2 percent of market share by selling $51.5 billion worth of semiconductors last year defeating Japan whose sales revenue was $43.4 billion accounting for 13.7 percent of the market.
It is the first time for Korea to overtake its long rival Japan since the country began producing semiconductors in earnest since the 1980s.
Comparing the two rivals’ global market shares, Korea’s semiconductor sales kept increasing from 13.9 percent in 2011, 14.7 percent in 2012 to 16.2 percent last year, while Japan’s market share went downhill from 18.5 percent in 2011, 17.5 percent in 2012 and 13.7 percent in 2013.
Korea becomes world’s second largest semiconductor supplier in 2013 (Arirang, Mar 25, 2014)
S. Korea world’s 2nd-largest semiconductor supplier in 2013 (Global Post, Mar 24, 2014)
The United States topped the list in the market with a 52.4-percent share with $166.6-billion sales revenue, followed by Europe (8.7%) and Taiwan (6.5%) ranking fourth and fifth respectively. However, Korea’s semiconductor industry is too much focused on memory production. Korea sold $34.3 billion worth of memory chips, 66.5 percent of all semiconductor sales. Its market share in memory chips marked 52.4 percent, overtaking the U.S. far behind (27.1%).
Meanwhile, Korea ranked last among five major chip-producing countries in the system-on-a-chip semiconductor sector, which is used to control electronic devices, with 5.8 percent of market share ($11.4 billion). The system semiconductor is dubbed as the next-generation cash cow. Also, its 10.4 percent market share on the higher value-added optical and discrete semiconductor devices was way behind Japan’s 31.5 percent.
An official at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said, “Korea’s market share in system semiconductor and optical-discrete semiconductor sectors are steadily on the rise and we expect a reversal like that of memory chips to happen in the future.”
Written by John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)