Samsung overthrows Intel to become biggest chipmaker • The Register

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Semiconductor shortages helped smartphones and memory chips in 2021, and Samsung overthrew Intel to become the world’s largest chip company, according to Counterpoint Research.

Global semiconductor revenue reached $554.1 billion in 2021, with 19% growth coming from the memory and integrated circuit (IC) design sectors, the team said. research in a press release. to study.

This was driven by demand for integrated circuits in data centers, high performance computing, autonomous vehicles, 5G infrastructure, cryptography, gaming, and the growth of advanced semiconductors in PCs, smartphones and other IoT devices, said Akshara Bassi, research analyst at Counterpoint. The register.

As a result, Samsung’s chip revenue totaled $81.3 billion in 2021, up 30.5% from 2020. The company reported last week that the memory unit in 2021 checked in the strongest revenue growth of any business division, up 31% from 2020, and said the rapid growth is expected to continue in 2022.

Intel’s chip revenue was $79 billion, up just 1.5%, and lost the top spot to Samsung, according to Counterpoint. Intel reset its priorities last year after Pat Gelsinger became CEO. The chipmaker divested SSD and NAND assets and sold a factory in Dalian, China, to SK Hynix for $7 billion in December.

Counterpoint’s numbers don’t include factory revenue, which Intel prioritizes after dumping memory and NAND assets.

SK Hynix ranked third, with revenue of $37.1 billion in 2021, up 36% from 2020. The company recorded its highest revenue ever last year and highlighted the success of 128-layer NAND flash products, which “successfully turned into surplus in the third quarter of last year,” the company noted Last week.

Micron ranked fourth, with $30 billion in revenue, up 33% from 2020. Mobile chip company Qualcomm was fifth, up 52%.

“The market will continue to grow as demand for various applications, including…electric vehicles, self-driving cars, smartphones, Arm PCs, custom silicon, and servers, increases semiconductor content per device” , Bassi said.

The chip shortage caused everyone to clamor for the same parts last year, and chipmakers took advantage of the shortage, said Brian Matas, vice president of market research at IC Insights. The register.

A shortage of materials added to rising prices for memory chips, processors and other chips, helping semiconductor companies pocket more revenue.

DRAM vendors have been particularly caught short on capacity, although new and upgraded factories will come online in the second half of 2022, Matas said.

The unpredictable nature of calamities and markets remains a wild card for how the semiconductor market will unfold this year, Counterpoint’s Bassi said.

Micron and Samsung had to limit operations at their semiconductor sites in Xi’an, China, following a coronavirus outbreak in December. ®

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