Recession smession -- according to market research firm Gartner, worldwide semiconductor revenue hit an all time high in 2010, "reaching a landmark $300.3 billion." That's up a whopping 31.5 percent from 2009, Gartner notes.
"In 2010, the semiconductor market was driven by pent-up demand as system makers scrambled against depleted inventories to obtain parts," said Stephan Ohr, semiconductor research director at Gartner. "Manufacturers — both integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) and foundries — scrambled to put new capacity in place. With slowing demand and a weakening consumer confidence in the third quarter, lead times are coming down and inventories are slowly starting to build. Still, semiconductor vendors are working on fulfilling backlog orders, and 2010 will go on record as a banner year for the semiconductor industry."
As usual, Intel clung to the top spot, the 19th consecutive year the chip maker has done so, and despite losing a tiny bit of share in 2010. Intel now claims 13.8 percent of the semiconductor market, down from 14.2 percent in 2009, but still ahead of Samung, which now holds a 9.4 percent.