Report: Vista, wireless, LCDs to shake up Taiwan IC designer rankings

January 15, 2007 – A shakedown is expected among the top IC designers in Taiwan due to patent lawsuits with foreign rivals and severe competition in the LCD controller market, according to a report by the Taiwan Economic News.

Numbers from the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK) of the government-backed Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) show that revenues from Taiwan’s IC design sector increased about 10% in 2006 to NT$313.8 billion (US $9.5 billion), with better growth expected in 2007 due to the release of Microsoft’s Vista operating system as well as digital TVs, wireless gadgets, and game consoles.

Industry watchers point out that PC chip suppliers should see good growth in 2007, adding that wireless chip suppliers’ success will depend heavily on WiMax and ultrawideband communications markets, the report noted.

Mediatek Inc. and Novatek Microelectronics Co. are seen holding onto the top two spots in 2006, respectively, followed by Himax Technology Inc., which rose from fifth to third, ahead of Via Technologies Inc. Sixth-place Phison Electronics Corp. posted the best growth rate (97.4%) of anyone in the sector, while Mstar Semiconductor Inc. made the list at No. 10.

Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) Corp. slipped to ninth place from sixth, and Faraday Technology Corp. fell out of the top 10 list. SiS says its revenues should climb again in 2007 as it ramps to mass production of products other can core chipsets. Sunplus Technology Co. also is staying in the top-10 list despite a 10% slide in revenues, and the company is breaking into three independent companies as part of a reorganization plan to boost revenues.


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