South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. is expected to comfortably elbow out its U.S. rival Intel Corp. in its long-held position as the world’s largest chipmaker this year, data showed Tuesday.
According to market research firm IC Insights, Samsung Electronics is projected to have generated $65.6 billion in chip sales this year, surpassing Intel’s estimated $61 billion.
Samsung which since earlier this year outpaced Intel in full semiconductor category is expected to account for 15.6 percent of the global chip market excluding pure-play foundry this year, up from 12.1 percent last year. Intel’s share is estimated at 13.9 percent.
Samsung Electronics has long dominated memory chip segment, but it would be the first time for the chipmaker to be No. 1 in comprehensive semiconductor industry, a rank the world’s pioneer in central processing unit kept for the last 23 years.
Chip sales by Samsung Electronics amounted to $3.1 billion in 1993, less than half of Intel’s, ranking as the seventh-largest player in the industry. The company moved up to second in 2006 by outpacing Texas Instruments Inc., Toshiba Corp., and Motorola Inc. on the back of strong demand for memory chips including dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) and non-volatile storage (NAND) flash.
Samsung Electronics trailed Intel by $12.7 billion in sales last year. It outperformed the U.S. chipmaker from the second quarter due to soaring memory chip prices amid high DRAM and NAND flash memory chips demand and tight supply.
In the third quarter ended September, Samsung Electronics reported a record profit margin of 62 percent in its DRAM business.
IC Insights data also showed that Korea’s No. 2 player SK Hynix Inc. will jump to the third rank after Samsung and Intel with estimated sales of $26.2 billion and 6.0 percent share.
By Hwang Hyung-gyu and Lee Eun-joo
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