Report: Samsung Cut Into Intel’s Semiconductor Market Share Lead In 20105:18 PM EST Tue. Apr. 19, 2011
Samsung in 2010 made significant strides towards eroding Intel’s lead in the semiconductor industry, the first such challenge to Intel in over a decade, due primarily to booming sales of its memory integrated circuits (ICs), according to a report issued Tuesday by IHS Isuppli.
According to the report, Samsung "massively outperformed" the rest of the semiconductor industry, registering a 59.1 percent increase in revenue in 2010, whereas the semiconductor industry brought in $304.1 billion overall in 2010, which is up 32.1 percent from $230.2 billion in 2009.
Although Intel’s direct rival in the microprocessor space is AMD, Samsung has now grown into Intel’s primary rival in the overall semiconductor industry, according to IHS iSuppli, as a result of the 52.4 percent expansion of its memory ICs.
“The rise of Samsung is one of the biggest stories of the last decade in the worldwide semiconductor market,” said IHS analyst Dale Ford, in a statement. “Although they are mainly indirect competitors in the marketplace, Intel and Samsung have been ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, for a number of years.”
According to the report, Samsung’s chip revenue has grown by 355 percent from 3.9 percent since 2001, largely as a result of growth in the memory industry. In 2010, the market for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) grew 75 percent, according to the report, while the NAND Flash market grew 38.6 percent. Samsung is the leading player in both markets.
Intel last year claimed 13.4 percent of the total CPU market, while Samsung ranked second in with 9.2 percent of total worldwide revenue from processors in 2010, up from 7.6 percent the year before.
Still, IHS iSuppli’s estimate of Intel’s revenue does not include Infineon’s wireless unit, which Intel acquired from Infineon in January, after disclosing the deal in August 2010. Infineon’s revenue, including Infineon WLS, increased 41.8 percent in 2010, according to IHS iSuppli.
Other memory component suppliers including Micron, Hynx and Elpida each reportedly expanded their share of the total semiconductor market in 2010 by 1.1 percent, 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. In fact, Hynx and Elpida reportedly set records for revenue expansion based on organic growth alone with 66.2 percent and 63.3 percent increases in market share, respectively.
Not everyone in the semiconductor industry saw the same level of expansion -- although the fact that even the companies that lost market share increased their revenues bodes well for the industry as a whole.
Taiwan-based firm MediaTek registered flat revenue, while Qualcomm grew only 12.4 percent and Nvidia’s income grew 13.1 percent, according to IHS iSuppli. The report also said AMD and Sony Corp fell four spots in overall semiconductor industry rankings, despite registering revenue growth, as their growth did not match that of the market as a whole.
Intel, for one, seems to appreciate the value of the memory segment to its overall business. Last week, Intel and Micron said they are jointly developing a 20-nm flash memory process, the first memory die shrink to that size. In addition, Intel last month unveiled a new line of SSDswith the potential for reaching capacities of up to 600 GBs.