Taiwan-based IC design houses performed better than expected in the fourth quarter of 2013, yielding production value of NT$125.01 billion (US$4.12 billion), up 0.5% from the prior quarter, according to Digitimes Research.
Strong demand for IC parts, including MediaTek's smartphone and tablet solutions, MStar Semiconductor's TV chips and Realtek Semiconductor's networking chips, helped ramp up production in the IC design sector, said Digitimes Research.
However, most suppliers of LCD driver ICs, analog ICs, consumer ICs and IC design services saw their sales and ASPs decline in the fourth quarter, due to seasonal factors.
Combined revenues of IC design service companies dropped 7.8% sequentially and 17.3% on year in the fourth quarter due largely to decreased orders from Samsung Electronics.
However, sales of IC design houses for niche memory products were up 5.5% sequentially in the quarter on rising demand as well as prices for memory chips, including specialty DRAM parts.
For all of 2013, the production value of Taiwan's IC design industry amounted to NT$468.22 billion, increasing 10.9% from the previous year. Additionally, the market share held by the top-10 IC design houses climbed to 66.7% in 2013 from 61.4% the prior year, Digitimes Research noted.