Samsung to dethrone Intel as world’s largest chipmaker

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South Korean technology giant Samsung Electronics Co. has overtaken Santa Clara, Calif. based Intel Corp.’s (INTC) as the world’s No. 1 chipmaker in terms of revenue.

Samsung, most well-known for its smartphones and televisions, reported second-quarter sales of $15.7 billion for its semiconductor unit and operating profit of $7.1 billion. For the first time, Intel fell behind its Asian rival with Q2 chip revenue of $14.8 billion and operating profit of $3.8 billion. Samsung mainly generates its chip segment revenue through selling memory chips used in mobile devices, as opposed to Intel, which focuses on microprocessors.

Intel usurped NEC the world’s number one chip supplier back in 1993 when it debuted its x486 processor and soon after its original Pentium CPU, which sent sales of personal computers through the roof. The firm has remained in the number one spot ever since.

This could soon be about to change, though, according to a report from IC Insights, which claims that Samsung’s chip sales could top Intel’s in the second quarter of this year, coming in at $14.6bn compared to $14.4bn.

This is largely due to the rapid adoption of mobile devices, which has seen demand DRAM and NAND flash memory – which the tech giant has a lot of – grow at double-digit rates. The PC market, on the other hand, has long been faltering, taking demand for Intel’s desktop CPUs down with it.

This growing demand for DRAM and NAND chips also means that Samsung is able to charge more for them.

“Samsung’s big increase in sales has been driven by an amazing rise in DRAM and NAND flash average selling prices,” IC Insights said.

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