Top 10 Semiconductor Foundries in the World

March 13, 2024

Semiconductor foundries are the unsung heroes driving technological advancement. These companies play a pivotal role in crafting the sophisticated chips that power our gadgets, from smartphones to smart homes. Despite their ubiquitous impact, their significance often goes unnoticed. Join us as we delve into the world of chip foundries and unveil the top 10 largest semiconductor foundries shaping the global chip manufacturing landscape.

top semiconductor foundries

About Semiconductor foundries

Semiconductor foundries are specialized enterprises in the semiconductor manufacturing sector, primarily tasked with producing integrated circuit chips designed by external companies. These foundries boast advanced manufacturing equipment and technology, allowing for the production of intricate integrated circuits on a large scale. By offering manufacturing capabilities, they enable design companies to concentrate on chip design, marketing, and sales without the need for semiconductor manufacturing equipment or factories.

Key characteristics of semiconductor foundries

1. Advanced manufacturing processes: Foundries typically feature cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing technology, such as advanced CMOS processes, facilitating the production of high-performance, low-power chips.

2. Massive production capacity: Equipped with large-scale production lines and equipment, chip foundries can simultaneously manufacture multiple chips in a single processing step, ensuring cost efficiency.

3. Quality control and testing capabilities: Foundries implement stringent control measures throughout the production process to ensure that produced chips meet quality standards. Additionally, they offer chip testing services to verify that the chips meet specifications upon leaving the factory.

4. Design support: Some chip foundries go beyond manufacturing services to provide design support, assisting clients in optimizing chip designs to align with specific manufacturing processes.

Semiconductor foundries play a pivotal role in the semiconductor industry, serving as the production foundation for chip designs across various application domains. This fosters the development and innovation of the semiconductor industry as a whole.

Top 10 Semiconductor Foundries in the World

Trendforce has released the latest report on top foundries on March 12, 2024, they monitor the operations of the top chip foundries in the world and rank them quarterly based on revenue.

In the report, TSMC retains its position as the largest chip foundry. Intel has changed a lot, it was ranked No. 9 in the previous report but has now been replaced by Hefei Jinghe (Nexchip). At fact, It is the first time Intel has entered the top ten in the third quarter. Intel's semiconductor foundry division mainly produces its own processors, with its Core and Xeon processor series being released successively in the fourth quarter of last year. As the product generations transition, its chip production capacity for stocking can only gradually recover until the beginning of the next year.

Top 10 global semiconductor foundries by revenue (million dollars) in Q4, 2023

Ranking Company Revenue Market share
4Q23 3Q23 QoQ 4Q23 3Q23
1 TSMC 19,660 17,249 14.0% 61.2% 57.9%
2 Samsung 3,619 3,960 -1.9% 11.3% 12.4%
3 GlobalFoundries 1,854 1,852 0.1% 5.8% 6.2%
4 UMC 1,727 1,801 -4.1% 5.4% 6.0%
5 SMIC 1,678 1,620 3.6% 5.2% 5.4%
6 Huahong Group 657 766 -14.2% 2.0% 2.6%
7 Tower 352 358 -1.7% 1.1% 1.2%
8 PSMC 330 305 8.0% 1.0% 1.0%
9 Nexchip 308 283 9.1% 1.0% 0.9%
10 VIS 304 333 -8.7% 1.0% 1.1%
Total top 10 30,489 28,258 7.9% 95% 95%

1. TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company)

Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, TSMC is the world's largest semiconductor foundry company, leading the industry with advanced process technology and customized solutions since its establishment in 1987.

The first quarter revenue of TSMC in 2024 was $18.87 billion, which increased 12.9% year-over-year but decreased 3.8% from the previous quarter. Shipments of 3nm accounted for 9% of total wafer revenue; 5nm accounted for 37%; 7nm accounted for 19%. Advanced technologies, defined as 7nm and more advanced technologies, accounted for 65% of total wafer revenue. TSMC's 3nm process is primarily used in smartphones, while AI accelerators commonly utilize 5nm or 4nm processes. In the future, AI chips will also accelerate the transition from 4nm to 2nm. The 2nm process is expected to commence production by the end of 2025, with deliveries and profitability starting in the first half of 2026.

In addition, global foundry industry output growth is forecast to be between 14% and 19% this year, down from 20% estimated in January.

2. Samsung Foundry

A critical division of Samsung Electronics, Samsung Foundry is headquartered in South Korea and offers advanced process nodes, including 5-nanometer and 8-nanometer, owing to its robust R&D capabilities and strategic partnerships.

In the first quarter of 2024, the Device Solutions (DS) department responsible for the semiconductor business recorded a combined revenue of 23.14 trillion Korean won (about 16.83 billion), marking a year-on-year growth of 68.54%. Samsung Electronics' semiconductor business encompasses storage, System LSI, and chip foundry services. Among these, the storage chip business stands out as the primary revenue generator, contributing as much as 75% to the semiconductor business revenue.

Regarding chip foundry services, Samsung Electronics stated that sales improvement was delayed due to weak market demand and ongoing inventory adjustments. However, efforts to enhance efficiency in wafer fab operations have become more apparent, resulting in a slight reduction in losses.The development of advanced 3nm and 2nm technologies is progressing smoothly, and the yield rate of the 4nm technology has stabilized.

3. GlobalFoundries

With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, GlobalFoundries is a leading global semiconductor foundry, providing diverse process technologies, such as 14-nanometer, 12-nanometer, and 22FDX, to various industries ranging from automotive to IoT.

The financial report for the first quarter of 2024 indicates that the quarterly revenue reached $1.549 billion, showing a decrease of 16% both compared to the previous quarter and the same period last year.

4. UMC (United Microelectronics Corporation)

Based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, UMC has been a trusted semiconductor foundry since 1980, offering process nodes from 28-nanometer to 90-nanometer and earning industry acclaim for its commitment to quality and reliability.

The financial report for the first quarter of 2024 shows that the quarterly revenue was NT$54.63 billion (about US$1.685 billion), a decrease of 0.6% compared to the previous quarter but an increase of 0.8% compared to the same period last year.

5. SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation)

SMIC, headquartered in Shanghai, China, stands as mainland China's largest semiconductor foundry, delivering advanced process technologies globally and focusing on research and development to maintain competitiveness.

In the first quarter of 2024, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) achieved a revenue of $1.75 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 19.7% and a quarter-on-quarter growth of 4.3%. Among the silicon wafer sales of SMIC during this period, 8-inch wafers accounted for 24.4%, while 12-inch wafers accounted for 75.6%. It is evident that SMIC's revenue in the first quarter of this year has surpassed that of United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) and GlobalFoundries for the first time, making it the world's third-largest semiconductor foundry, trailing only TSMC and Samsung. However, SMIC still lags behind UMC and GlobalFoundries in terms of gross profit margin and net profit level.

6. Hua Hong Semiconductor

Also known as HHGrace, Hua Hong Semiconductor, headquartered in Shanghai, China, is among mainland China's largest semiconductor foundries, contributing to the development of China's semiconductor industry through advanced process technology and solutions.

In the first quarter of 2024, Hua Hong Semiconductor achieved sales revenue of $460 million, marking a year-on-year decrease of 27.1% but a quarter-on-quarter increase of 1%.

7. Tower Semiconductor

Based in Israel, Tower Semiconductor, commonly known as TowerJazz, specializes in analog and mixed-signal semiconductor manufacturing, providing innovative solutions for automotive, industrial, and aerospace sectors.

In the first quarter of 2024, Tower Semiconductor reported revenue of $327 million, marking a year-on-year decrease of 7.98%.

8. PSMC (Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation)

Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, PSMC focuses on memory and logic technologies, offering various process nodes and earning recognition for its commitment to quality and reliability.

9. Nexchip

With headquarters in Hefei, China, Nexchip is one of the fastest-growing semiconductor foundries, specializing in specialty processes and providing high-quality semiconductor solutions to customers worldwide.

10. VIS (Vanguard International Semiconductor)

VIS, a Taiwanese semiconductor foundry headquartered in Hsinchu, focuses on analog and mixed-signal technologies, contributing significantly to the semiconductor industry's sustainable development and technological innovation.

Related Posts:

Top 10 IC Design Companies

Top 10 Automotive Semiconductor Companies

Top MLCC Manufacturers

Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information and reference purposes only. The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the author of this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of Cytech Systems or official policies of Cytech Systems.

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