Fabless sector grew 10% in 2005

March 10, 2006 – Fabless semiconductor revenues grew 9.7% in 2005 to $40.0 billion, accounting for 17.6% of the year’s $227.5 billion in total semiconductor sales, up slightly from 17.1% in 2004 (and vs. 15.6% in 2003), according to the Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA).

The top 10 fabless companies by revenues made up 52% of total sales: Qualcomm, Broadcom, NVidia, SanDisk, ATI, Avago (Agilent’s former semiconductor products group), Marvell, Xilinx, MediaTek, and Altera. North American companies represented 77% of total fabless sales, followed by Asia with 20% and Europe with 3%. Broadcom, QLogic, and SanDisk all posted profits of >$100 million.

During 2005, 129 fabless companies raised $1.6 billion, compared with $1.8 billion invested in 144 deals in 2004 — an 11% year-on-year decrease in dollar amounts, and a 10% decrease in the number of deals closed. Late-stage companies (third, fourth, or fifth rounds of funding) received 65% of investments in 4Q; for the year, 40% of investments went to fabless companies seeking a third round of funding, followed by second-round firms (24%). Five out of the nine fabless IPOs taking place in 2005 happened in 4Q, and all but one happened outside the US.


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