Who Are the Biggest Board Manufacturers?

To know who the biggest manufacturers of anything are is no easy task. In the case of computer parts, it is an even more complicated task, especially because in several countries computers are assembled by thousands of small companies, professionals of the area, and final users, making use of parts from the most varied manufacturers. In many countries, especially in the developing ones, the parts used in the assembly of those personal computers usually come from the so-called gray market, in which parts enter the country illegally or using doubtful origin documentation.

Nonetheless, we have official statistics of who the biggest manufacturers of boards in the world are. This is so because all the biggest manufacturers are open capital companies and thus have to issue financial reports to their shareholders and to the stocks markets where their stocks are negotiated.

The site DigiTimes (http://www.digitimes.com), besides having detailed financial information on all the board manufacturers from Taiwan compiles monthly statistics showing the amounts of boards sold by the main manufacturers.

According to this site, the four biggest motherboard manufacturers in the world, per volume, are ASUS, ECS, Gigabyte, and MSI. We have compiled a table containing the amount of motherboards these manufacturers produced in 2003 and 2004. These numbers include the second line brands from ASUS and ECS, AsRock and PCChips, respectively. As one can see, ASUS has a big lead in terms of produced units. It is not clear to us whether the numbers from ASUS include Intel motherboards or not. Until last month, Intel motherboards were manufactured by ASUS and, according to Intel, 15 million Intel motherboards were manufactured in 2003 and the goal for 2004 is the production of 17 million boards. Intel broke its contract with ASUS and will start manufacturing its boards with another company, called Wistron. As one can see in the table there is a fierce dispute between Gigabyte and MSI for the third place in the ranking.

Amount of manufactured motherboards (in millions)

Manufacturer 2004* 2003
ASUS/AsRock 18.31 29.5
ECS/PCChips 8.06 18.36
Gigabyte 6.78 13.5
MSI 6.3 15

* From January to June, 2004

But if we analyze the revenue of the board manufacturers, the data are very different, for the manufacturers also produce other products such as cellular telephones, video cards, etc., whose income is part of the total revenue. Per revenue, the biggest manufacturer of boards in the world is Foxconn – a name unknown to most users. How can a manufacturer which is almost 4,5 bigger than ASUS be unknown? The fact is that its specialty is the outsourcing. Foxconn is responsible for the production of boards to order for several other manufacturers. This year it has decided to enter the market with its own brand (see details at http://www.foxconnchannel.com).

Company  Revenue 1st Semester 2004 (USD Million) Revenue 2003 (USD Million)
Foxconn 2,333.42 9,718.32
ASUS/AsRock 546.97 2,207.35
MSI 507.20 1,894.19
ECS/PCChips 135.12 1,333.67
Mitac International Corporation (MIC) 330.14 1,173.70
Universal Scientific Industrial (USI) 292.98 1,032.48
Gigabyte Technology 276.18 1,007.95
VIA Technologies 130.75 600.73
AOpen 122.33 523.12
Kinpo Electronics 92.01 406.60


Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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