⚙️ Semiconductor Titans Visualized
Mapping the key players through volatility and geopolitics
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As we embark on the AI Supercycle, a period marked by rapid advancements and integration of artificial intelligence across industries, semiconductors are the foundational technology powering these AI-driven tasks.
The AI tech stack has 3 layers:
📱 Top: Apps we use daily, like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Copilot.
🧠 Middle: Large Language Models (LLMs) are the brains behind AI applications, such as GPT-4, Llama2, and Bedrock.
🤖 Bottom: Compute hardware and chips form the core of AI's capabilities, essential for training and inference.
These chips are more than just components. They are the driving force behind AI's groundbreaking advancements. From powering smartphones to enabling autonomous vehicles, semiconductors are pivotal in the technology shaping our future.
⚙️ Semiconductor Titans Visualized is your guide to demystify this crucial industry. We'll spotlight key players, dissect revenue streams, and explore the financials of the most influential companies in the semiconductor space.
Today at a glance:
🔎 The Semiconductor Ecosystem
🌏 Foundries and IDMs
💡 Fabless companies
🌐 Equipment manufacturers
⚙️ Specialized categories and Design Innovators
🗺️ The Geopolitical Chessboard
1. 🔎 The Semiconductor Ecosystem
As we dive into the semiconductor world, it's vital to understand its structure. This industry is broadly divided into a few key categories, each playing a unique role in creating and distributing semiconductor technology.
Industry Map Visualization
🌏 Foundries like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) are specialized facilities focusing solely on manufacturing. Taiwan is a significant player, producing over 60% of the world’s semiconductors and over 90% of the most advanced chips.
💡 Fabless companies like NVIDIA and Qualcomm specialize in chip design while outsourcing manufacturing. This model allows intense focus on innovation. Large US tech companies often follow this approach for their chip design efforts.
🔄 Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDMs) like Samsung and Intel manage both design and manufacturing, offering an all-encompassing approach to semiconductor production.
🌐 Equipment manufacturers, including ASML and LAM Research, supply the essential tools and machinery for chip production. This is critical in advancing semiconductor technology to make chips smaller, more efficient, and powerful.
⚙️ Design tools and Intellectual Property (IP) providers offer the crucial technology for developing advanced semiconductors.
Largest Semiconductor Companies
Here’s a snapshot of the 12 largest semiconductor companies by market cap, highlighting NVIDIA’s remarkable rise by 250% this year.
In the following sections, we will summarize what these companies are all about through visuals. On top of these 12 companies, we’ll cover IP providers and tools like ARM, Synopsys, and Cadence.
For your convenience, you can download all the visuals in a high-resolution PDF here.