Samsung Pips Intel as Top Semiconductor Player in 2017: Gartner

In a significant development, Samsung Electronics with 14.2 percent share surpassed Intel as the top vendor for the global semiconductor market in 2017 – a feat that took 25 years to happen – Gartner said on Monday.

Samsung registered $59,875 million (roughly Rs. 3.97 lakh crores) in revenue while Intel at second place reported a revenue of $58,725 million (roughly Rs. 3.9 lakh crores) with 14 percent market share.

Driven by strong growth in the memory market, worldwide semiconductor revenue hit $420.4 billion (roughly Rs. 27.9 lakh crores) in 2017 – a 21.6 percent increase from 2016 revenue of $345.9 billion, Gartner said in a statement.

“2017 saw two semiconductor industry milestones – revenue surpassed $400 billion and Intel, the No. 1 vendor for the last 25 years, was pushed into second place by Samsung Electronics,” said George Brocklehurst, Research Director at Gartner.

“Both milestones happened due to rapid growth in the memory market as undersupply drove pricing for DRAM and NAND flash higher,” he added.

Qualcomm slipped to fifth place with $16,099 million (roughly Rs. 1.06 lakh crores) (3.8 percent market share) in revenue.

The memory market surged nearly $50 billion to reach $130 billion (roughly Rs. 8.63 lakh crores) in 2017 – a 61.8 percent increase from 2016.

Samsung’s memory revenue alone increased nearly $20 billion (roughly Rs. 1.32 lakh crores) in 2017, moving the company into the top spot in 2017.

Gartner, however, predicted that Samsung’s lead will be short-lived and will disappear when the memory market goes into its bust cycle, most likely in late 2019.

The booming memory segment overshadowed strong growth in other categories in 2017.

“Non-memory semiconductors grew $24.8 billion to reach $290 billion (roughly Rs. 19.3 lakh crores), representing a growth rate of 9.3 percent,” the report said.

The combined revenue of the top 10 semiconductor vendors increased by 30.6 percent during 2017 and accounted for 58 percent of the total market, outperforming the rest of the market, which saw an 11 percent revenue increase.

Growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) is having a significant impact on the semiconductor market, with application-specific standard products (ASSPs) for consumer applications up by 14.3 percent and industrial ASSPs rising by 19.1 percent in 2017.

“Semiconductors for wireless connectivity showed the highest growth with 19.3 percent in 2017, and topping $10 billion (roughly Rs. 66,000 crores) for the first time, despite reduced component prices and the static smartphone industry,” Gartner said.

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