Many companies reported revenue growth in the most recent quarter, but the latest round of chip industry earnings releases reflected some major themes:

  • Demand for consumer electronics softened due to inflation, rising interest rates, and post-pandemic market saturation, creating a slump in the memory chip sector;
  • Automotive growth remained solid as the supply chain stabilized, offsetting some declines in other business segments;
  • Overall, the foundry business remained strong, with most major foundries reporting growth, and
  • Reductions in future capital spending and other cost-cutting measures, particularly among memory makers.

Overall, market conditions for most segments are expected to rebound in late 2023. But there are concerns about inflation, the impact of export regulations, and the severity of slowdowns in high-volume chip markets, particularly for the consumer and mobile segments. Initial reports point to a resurgence sometime in the second half, but the chip industry has become so diversified across so many different market segments, some of which are tied to others, that it’s not clear how this will play out.

The $160 billion memory chip sector is experiencing an historic deterioration of demand in DRAM/NAND, with customers continuing to reduce inventories due to worsening consumer demand caused by ongoing inflation and rising interest rates. Micron’s Q1 revenue (reported in December) declined 46% versus the prior year, which the company blamed on “the most severe imbalance between supply and demand in both DRAM and NAND in the last 13 years,” with DRAM down 49% YOY and NAND down 41% YOY.  SK hynix’s revenue dropped 38% YOY, due to what the company said was sluggish demand and falling price of memory chips.

Looking forward, this sector forecasts a demand rebound in the second half of the year. “Intel’s launch of new server CPU adopting DDR5 and apparent positive signs of demand for new AI-based server memory chips bode well for a quick business turnaround,” said SK hynix CFO Kim Woohyun in the latest earnings release. “We expect to see a quick turnaround when the market bottoms out.”

Over the next few months, Micron expects “gradually improving demand trends for memory as customer inventory levels improve further, new CPU platforms are launched, and China’s demand starts to grow as its economy reopens.”

Intel’s Q4 revenue was down 28% (non-GAAP), compared to the same period in 2021, largely due to a drop in consumer demand. But the situation was far different for Intel Foundry Services, which reported revenue growth of 30% for the same period.

In fact, demand for foundry services was up nearly everywhere. TSMC’s revenue grew 27% (U.S.-based), with shipments of 5nm and 7nm accounting for 54% of total wafer revenue. UMC’s revenue grew 15% versus the prior year, with revenue from 22/28nm technologies increasing more than 56% year-over-year. And Samsung Foundry’s quarterly revenue was the highest ever (not separately broken out from consolidated Samsung results), driven by “advanced-node capacity expansion, as well as customer base and application area diversification.”

Looking forward in 2023, Intel expects overall weakness to continue through the first half of 2023, although it is not providing specific guidance beyond Q1. Despite the slowdown, which was met with cost-cutting measures and layoffs, Intel is moving ahead with plans to construct multi-billion-dollar fabs.

TSMC, meanwhile, forecasts revenue in the second half of 2023 to increase over the same period last year in U.S. dollar terms, and to “rebalance to a healthier level.”  TSMC plans to allocate 70% of its 2023 CapEx budget for advanced process technologies, about 20% for specialty technologies, and about 10% will be spent for advanced packaging, mask-making, and others.

Samsung’s Foundry’s outlook for 2023 looks to “increase orders for the 3-nano 2nd-generation GAA process and focus on the development of the next-generation 2-nano process; diversify within applications such as Automotive/IoT.”

Roundup of Announcements
Below are the recent chip industry financial announcements, as well as revenue for some of their largest customers. Quarterly revenue increase/decrease percentages are in comparison to the same periods in the prior year. Note, the below chart will be updated continually over the next several weeks for pending earnings releases, so check back for updates.

Company Quarter Revenue Quarterly Revenue Change vs Prior Year
& Other Info
(Jan 31)
Third 138B yen (sales)

~US $1.07B

23% sales increase

High-end SoC performance gains & strong demand for analog semis drove higher test demand

(Jan 31)
Fourth US $5.6B 16% revenue increase

Driven by growth across the Embedded and Data Center segments, partially offset by lower Client and Gaming segment revenue

Amkor Reporting on Feb 13
Ansys Reporting on Feb 23
(Jan 25)
Fourth €6.4B net sales

~US $6.98B

29% net sales increase

Shipped 18 EUV systems in Q4

Continued strong sales growth expected in 2023

ASE Holding Reporting on Feb 9
(Jan 17)
Fourth €720M (prelim sales)

~ US $786M

Final report Feb 28
Cadence Reporting on Feb 13
GlobalFoundries Reporting on Feb 14
(Jan 25)
Fourth US $16.7B Flat revenue

“Looking ahead to 2023, we expect full-year revenue growth consistent with our mid-single digit model.”

Infineon Technologies
(Feb 2)
First €3.951B

~US $4.3B

25% revenue increase

Strong growth in Automotive, Industrial Power Control segments versus prior year

(Jan 26)
Fourth US $14.0B 28% revenue decrease
(non-GAAP basis)

Client Computing Group down 36%, Data Center & AI down 33%, Mobileye up 59%, Foundry Services up 30%

JCET Report pending
Keysight First Reporting Feb 21
(Jan 26)
Second US $2.98B 27% revenue growth
Lam Research Second
(“Dec 2022 quarter)
US 5.28B 25% revenue growth
Lattice Semiconductor Reporting on Feb 13
Micron Technology
(Dec )
First US $4.09B 46% revenue drop

“The most severe imbalance between supply and demand in both DRAM & NAND in the last 13 years”

Nova Reporting on Feb 15
(Jan 30)
Fourth US $3.31B Revenue increased 9%

Auto business up 17%,
mobile up 9%, Industrial & IoT down 8%;

onsemi Reporting on Feb 6
Onto Innovation Reporting on Feb 9
PDF Solutions Reporting on Feb 21
(Feb 2)
First US $9.5B Revenue down 12%

Results impacted by
broader macroeconomic
environment and
elevated channel

Automotive up 58%
Handsets down 18%
IoT up 7%

Rambus Reporting on Feb 6
Renesas Reporting on Feb 9
SK hynix
Fourth KRW 7.699T 38% revenue drop
(Jan 26)
Fourth US $4.42B 24% revenue increase

All product groups up, except analog/MEMS subgroups

Synopsys Reporting mid Feb
Texas Instruments
(Jan 24)
Fourth US $4.67B 3% revenue increase

Weaker demand in all end markets with the exception of automotive

Tokyo Electron Reporting on Feb 9
(Jan 12)
Fourth US $19.93B 27% increase (US based)

7nm & more=54% of total

Expected Q123 revenue=$16.7B-17.5B

(Jan 16)
Fourth NT$67.84B

~US $2.21B

15% revenue increase;

Revenue from 22/28nm: 28%

Western Digital
(Jan 31)
Second US $3.11B Revenue down 36%

Challenging flash price environment and continued cloud inventory digestion

Find the latest chip industry stock prices here, along with other recent business news.  Also,  Semiconductor Engineering released its comprehensive Startup Funding Annual Report & Analysis: 2022, including in-depth analysis of where the money went, where it came from, and the reasons behind those investments.