IC Insights is currently assembling its top 25 semiconductor vendor ranking in 1Q21, which includes company sales forecasts for 2Q21. Intel became the world’s largest semiconductor maker from 1993 to 2016.
However, after nearly a quarter of a century, the semiconductor industry saw a No.1 new supplier starting in 2017 when the memory market exploded and Samsung replaced Intel. This reversal marked a milestone not only for Samsung, but also for all of the other competing semiconductor producers who had tried for years to supplant Intel as the world’s largest supplier.
Samsung was the # 1 semiconductor vendor for six quarters before the memory market collapsed in late 2018 and Intel again became the # 1 IC vendor in 4Q18. The fall in the memory market was so steep in late 2018 and early 2019 that Samsung went from 17% more revenue than Intel in 3Q18 to 18% less sales than Intel two quarters more late. Intel suffered its own 1Q19 sales drop, although it was nowhere near the drop posted by memory producers.
Intel’s revenues rebounded strongly in the second half of 2019, but remained stable for most of 2020. Over a 10-quarter period (4Q18-1Q21), Intel remained the # 1 supplier. Meanwhile, Samsung’s semiconductor sales are slowly rising from the ashes of 1Q19.
Driven by a booming memory market and relatively stable sales results from Intel, IC Insights believes Samsung will replace Intel as the top semiconductor producer again starting in 2Q21. In addition, Intel forecasts a 1% drop in sales for the year 2021 compared to 2020. With the DRAM market on the rise and the NAND flash market expected to gain momentum in the second half of the year, it It seems likely that Samsung will once again position itself as the number one semiconductor supplier for the entire year.
For more information on this research bulletin, please contact Bill McClean, President of IC Insights. Phone: + 1-480-348-1133 email: [email protected]