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Intel is once again the leading semiconductor maker

Samsung lost the first position, but could reclaim it later this year when DRAM and NAND memory chip production is expected to ramp up again.  (Source: SIA)
Samsung lost the first position, but could reclaim it later this year when DRAM and NAND memory chip production is expected to ramp up again. (Source: SIA)
Intel used to be the biggest semiconductor maker up until 2017, when Samsung began ramping up the DRAM and NAND memory chip production. Now that memory chip demand is bottoming out and Intel is almost out of the woods with the CPU shortages, Samsung drops to second position again, but things could change by Q4 2019 when the DDR5 memory standard is expected to hit the market.

Although hit by the 14 nm CPU shortages that are expected to last until Q3 2019, Intel still managed to emerge top semiconductor maker in the first quarter of 2019, stealing the spot from Samsung, which was reigning supreme since 2017, when the race for DRAM memory module manufacturing started ramping up. Meanwhile, the overstocks and the crashing prices determined by low demand for DRAM modules caused Samsung to drop to second position.

Reputable market analysts from IC Insights note that “Intel replaced Samsung as the number one quarterly semiconductor supplier in 4Q18 after losing the lead spot to Samsung in 2Q17. While Samsung held the full-year number one ranking in 2017 and 2018, Intel is forecast to easily recapture the number one ranking for the full-year of 2019, a position it previously held from 1993 through 2016. With the collapse of the DRAM and NAND flash markets over the past year, a complete switch has occurred, with Samsung having 23% more total semiconductor sales than Intel in 1Q18 but Intel having 23% more semiconductor sales than Samsung just one year later in 1Q19."

What about the other top 15 semiconductor makers? AMD is not among these, since it contracts TSMC to manufacture all of its chips. Speaking of TSMC, the Taiwanese fabs are currently occupying the third position, with ramping demands for 7 nm mobile SoCs, CPUs, GPUs and memory chips. Trailing behind are SK Hynix and Micron, mainly focused on memory chip production. Other notable makers include Qualcomm placing 7th, Nvidia 11th and Sony 15th.

IC Insights will soon release an update including 10 more semiconductor makers and a detailed forecast for the remainder of 2019.

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Top 25 semiconductor sellers for 1Q 2019 (Source: IC Insights)
Top 25 semiconductor sellers for 1Q 2019 (Source: IC Insights)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 05 > Intel is once again the leading semiconductor maker
Bogdan Solca, 2019-05-21 (Update: 2019-05-21)
Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - News Editor
I stepped into the wonderous IT&C world when I was around 7. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, be them from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I like to keep myself up to date with all the new technologies that get released at an ever increasing rate these days. I'm also an avid SciFi reader, an astrophysics aficionado and, as of late, a crypto geek.