Semiconductor Worldwide: Samsung Takes Over

Samsung topples Intel as top dog semiconductor market share 

Gartner beancounters say price rises driven by memory shortages propelled Samsung into the lead based on semiconductor vendor revenue, vaulting past Intel and its CPUs.

The largest memory supplier, Samsung Electronics, gained the most semiconductor market share and took the No. 1 position from Intel – the first time Intel has been toppled since 1992. Memory accounted for more than two-thirds of all semiconductor revenue growth in 2017, and became the largest semiconductor category.  DRAM prices rose 44 per cent from 2016 to 2017, and NAND flash prices went up 17 per cent year-over-year for the first time. (See Figure Below)

 

Samsung Chart

A Gartner table provides the numeric nitty-gritty

 

Samsung and Intel Semiconductor Outstrip Those of Any Other Single Vendor 

What’s also noticeable is that the “Others” category is larger than any single IC vendor’s sales.  GlobalFoundries, TowerJazz, and Microchip are a few of the many suppliers that contribute to the world’s semiconductor production the flash vendors saw good revenue growth rates in 2017, with Western Digital standing out with its 120 per cent rise for 2018.

Samsung’s lead  over Intel might be short-lived:  Samsung’s lead is literally built on sand, in the form of memory silicon. Memory pricing will weaken in 2018, initially for NAND flash and then DRAM in 2019 as China increases its memory production capacity.  Samsung can expect to lose a lot of the revenue gains it has made. 

Qualcomm plans to buy NXP this year and Broadcom is trying to buy Qualcomm. If successful, a Broadcom-Qualcomm-NXP combination would likely take a number two slotQualcomm just raised it’s bid and is now willing to pay $127.50 per share instead of $110 per share. It values NXP at $44 billion instead of $38 billion as of February 2018. 

The combined revenues of Broadcom, Qualcomm and NXP were $41.2bn in 2017 – a total beaten only by Samsung and Intel. If Broadcom can finalise this double acquisition and Samsung’s memory revenue falls as forecast, then Samsung could slip to third place during the next memory downturn in 2019.  

The largest memory supplier, Samsung Electronics, gained the most semiconductor market share and took the No. 1 position from Intel — the first time Intel has been toppled since 1992.  Memory accounted for more than two-thirds of all semiconductor revenue growth in 2017, and became the largest semiconductor category. 

Supply shortage pushed prices up, resulting in a booming memory revenue. NAND flash prices rose year over year, for the first time ever (17 per cent), while DRAM went up 44 per cent. Samsung’s lead is literally built on sand, see image below.

 

 

Sand Castle
2018-06-22T11:44:20+00:00

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