Intel has once again lost its semiconductor crown to Samsung, falling to the second spot on the list of top semi companies on the basis of revenue. In the second quarter of the year, Samsung recorded a revenue of $19.7 billion, narrowly beating Intel’s quarterly earnings of $19.6 billion. Intel has held this position for more than thirty years from the 1990s to the end of the last decade, losing it to the Korean chipmaker in 2017 due to the memory boom, only to regain it a couple of years later.
Samsung released its Q2 earnings last week, reporting an increase of 54% in the total operating income compared to the previous year. Similar to Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD, the pandemic has also contributed to Samsung’s higher-than-expected earnings for the ongoing year.
Samsung’s DRAM and NAND chips are some of the best and have been seeing a steady increase in prices due to constrained demand during the pandemic. According to the Wall Street Journal, going by the two companies’ guidance, Samsung is likely to stay on top for the foreseeable future. This is despite the fact that DRAM prices are expected to stay flat in the last two quarters of the year.
TSMC and Samsung are the leading silicon foundries, with the former making up for nearly 55% of the overall semiconductor market. Intel plans to catch up to its Asian rivals by 2024-25 and has already started investing several billions of dollars across fabs in Arizona, Israel, Ireland, and Central Europe.
Samsung, on the other hand, has stated that it expects annual growth of 20% in sales during the FY2022. The increasing prices of NAND and DRAM chips are key to Samsung’s success. These are cheaper to produce than CPUs and GPUs but are equally important. Although Samsung manufactures the latter as well, over the last few years, it has been struggling to keep up with TSMC. Read the following for more info: