Skip to main content

Samsung could pass Intel to become the world’s No. 1 chipmaker

Daydream on the Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung may be poised to take Intel’s position as the top chip manufacturer in the world. If it happens, it’s likely to sting too, because Intel has held the prized top spot for the last 24 years. The shift in power hasn’t happened yet, but research company IC Insights predicts it will happen before we’re halfway through 2017; but only if the recent high prices of memory chips continues.

Its data suggests Intel will log $14.4 billion in semiconductor sales at the end of the second quarter this year, while Samsung will edge past it with $14.9 billion in sales. This would be up from the $13.5 billion Samsung made at the end of March, and a 4.1 percent increase over the same period last year. Intel was still ahead at the end of March, with $14.2 billion in sales.

Samsung has its memory chips to thank for its prosperity, and the considerable global interest in premium, high-performance smartphones, but particularly in China. Its chip manufacturing division is its highest earner, and the combination of demand and price increases in the memory market are likely to keep it that way.

At the beginning of 2017, data showed Intel had a 15.9 percent market share, with Samsung in second position with 11.8 percent, a place it has held for 15 years. Should the switch take place, it will see Samsung occupy two important positions in the industry, based on market share. Recent data from IDC shows it is still the top smartphone manufacturer, despite the Note 7’s recall last year, with an almost 23 percent share of the market.

The Korean electronics giant is investing in its semiconductor business to increase its chances of toppling Intel. Following on from a $1 billion pledge on a new chip production plant in Austin, Texas, IC Insights sees Samsung spending up to $12.5 billion on similar facilities around the world over the coming year. Intel has invested $7 billion in its own Arizona factory this year, while IC Insights sees a slightly lower total investment in the industry than Samsung, at $12 billion.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Intel 5G modem chips won’t be available until 2020, could delay 5G iPhone
5g capable phones manufacturers header getty

If you're waiting impatiently for the release of phones with 5G enabled, you're going to have to sit tight for a while longer. While 5G is potentially much faster than previous-generation technologies, making streaming video or uploading content from your phone more convenient and less time-consuming, there aren't a whole lot of 5G networks available in the U.S. just yet. Even so, plenty of manufacturers have announced their plans to launch a 5G phone in the near future.

The wait comes because chip manufacturer Intel announced this week that their 5G modem chips will not be available in cell phones until 2020. This could be a particular a problem for Apple, which uses Intel chips in itsdevices and had planned to launch the next-generation iPhone with 5G capabilities in 2020.

Read more
Intel’s ninth-generation CPUs could launch on October 1

Intel's next-generation processors, including the monstrous Core i9-9900K, could launch as soon as October 1, if the latest batch of rumors is to be believed. This would sit in line with previous rumors from sites like XFastest, which provided slides of what appeared to be Intel’s processor roadmap for the remainder of 2018 and into 2019. The road map shows the Core i7-9900K, the Core i7-9700K, the Core i5-9600K arriving in the third quarter.

These chips will be a refresh of Intel’s eighth-generation design for desktop chips, aka Coffee Lake-S, rather than its upcoming “true” ninth-generation “Ice Lake” design. This isn’t unusual for Intel as seen with the launch of its eighth-generation CPU family in August 2017 although those initial chips, based on a refreshed seventh-generation design, targeted thin-and-light laptops instead of desktops.

Read more
Apple could become the world’s first $1 trillion company in 2018
Apple iPhone X Review

The world's biggest tech giants are in a race to become the first company to be valued at over $1 trillion, and Apple is currently leading the pack, despite the iPhone X's disappointing sales.

The valuation, created by taking the share price of each company and multiplying it by the number of shares available, puts Apple in the lead, with Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook in close competition behind the Cupertino giant. If share prices are to continue to climb at the same percentage as they did in 2017, then it's pretty much inevitable we will see the world's first $1 trillion company -- and Apple only needs to increase share prices by 15 percent to do so (following an increase of 47 percent last year).

Read more