Samsung tops optoelectronics ranking after absorbing LED venture

Samsung Electronics catapulted to the top of the optoelectronics supplier ranking in 2012 from 12th place in 2011 after it gained full ownership of Samsung LED, a 50-50 joint venture in light-emitting diodes that was created in 2009 between Samsung Electronics and affiliate Samsung Electro-Mechanics.  In April 2012, the venture was absorbed into Samsung Electronics to strengthen and expand the use of high-brightness LEDs in displays, LCD TVs, and new solid-state lighting products. This transfer increased Samsung’s optoelectronics sales by 223% to $2.5 billion in 2012 compared to $780 million in 2011, according to the new 2013 edition of IC Insights’ O-S-D Report—A Market Analysis and Forecast for Optoelectronics, Sensors/Actuators, and Discretes.

The LED operation added $1.5 billion to Samsung’s total revenues in 2012, based on the O-S-D supplier rankings in the new 350-page report, which becomes available in March 2013.  The rest of Samsung’s optoelectronics sales come from CMOS image sensors, which generated $975 million in 2012—a 25% increase from 2011.  The 2013 O-S-D Report shows Samsung as the second-largest supplier of CMOS image sensors in 2012, positioned between top-ranked OmniVision and third-place Sony.  The 2013 O-S-D Report provides top 10 supplier rankings for the individual optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discrete semiconductor markets in addition to an overall top 30 list of companies selling O-S-D products in 2012.

Samsung’s huge increase in optoelectronics sales vaulted it to first place in IC Insights’ top 30 O-S-D ranking for 2012 from 20th in 2011. High-brightness white LED and blue-laser pioneer Nichia in Japan moved up to second place in the O-S-D ranking from fourth place in 2011 with an 11% increase in optoelectronics sales in 2012.  In the 2012 O-S-D ranking, Toshiba and ST fell to third and fourth, respectively, due to steep sales declines in CMOS image sensors and double-digit drops in discretes.  Toshiba and ST had been the No. 1 and No. 2 suppliers in the O-S-D marketplace since the middle of the last decade.

top five O-S-D suppliers 2012

Suppliers of high-brightness LEDs generally moved higher in the overall O-S-D ranking in 2012 due to strong sales growth in lamp devices used for solid-state lighting systems.  In addition to Samsung and Nichia moving up to the No. 1 and 2 positions in O-S-D, six other LED makers climbed higher in the top 30 ranking (Sharp, Osram, Philips, LG Innotek, Seoul Semiconductor, and Toyoda Gosei). U.S.-based Cree, which makes LEDs and radio-frequency/microwave power transistors, was unchanged in the top 30 O-S-D ranking at 17th place in 2012.

Among the significant changes in the O-S-D supplier rankings was ST climbing to first place in the sensors/actuators market in 2012 from fourth in 2011.  ST’s sensor sales grew 19% in 2012 to $791 million.  Hewlett-Packard fell to fourth place in sensors/actuators last year from the top spot in 2011 due to a 10% decline in sales of HP’s inkjet-printer actuators in 2012.  In discrete semiconductors, Toshiba held on to its top position despite a 12% decline in discretes sales in 2012.

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