SEOUL, KOREA - Korean semiconductor chip suppliers' share in the world market last year has overtaken that of Japanese makers for the first time in history.
This is a great accomplishment after three decades since Korean chip makers entered the market in earnest. The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy said this on January 20 citing data from the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association and market research firm iSuppli.
Of the US$317.9-billion global sales revenue last year, Korean companies sold $50.1 billion, accounting for a 15.8-percent share. As for the Japanese counterparts, the market share was 13.9 percent, ranking No. 3 in the world. The share of U.S. suppliers such as Intel, Qualcomm, and Micron was 52.4 percent.
The share of Japanese chip suppliers plunged to the below 15-percent level from the peak of 51 percent in 1988. The number of Japanese makers in the top-20 list has been reduced to three last year from six in 2009. Elpida Memory went bankrupt in March 2012 and in December in the same year Fujitsu and Panasonic had to lay off 5,000 employees after a merger of their semiconductor units.
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