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article imageSamsung takes lead over Intel in semiconductor market

By Tim Sandle     May 6, 2018 in Technology
The latest data relating to semiconductor sales indicates that Samsung has edged out Intel, as semiconductor sales continue to boom. Meanwhile, TSMC cuts forecasts due to smartphone weakness.
Based on research released from Gartner, worldwide semiconductor revenue rose to $420.4 billion in 2017. This represented a 21.6 percent increase from the 2016 global revenue figure of $345.9 billion. Of interest among the figures, released in May 2018, Samsung emerged as the leading semiconductor vendor. However, its sales margin over second-placed Intel is relatively small.
According to EE News, Samsung saw $59.875 billion sales of memory chips compared with Intel's semiconductor sales of $58.725 billion. In thirs place is SK hynix; fourth spot sees Micron Technology; with fifth place given to Qualcomm.
Samsung's success has been put down to an increase in the average selling prices and a rise in unit sales of NAND flash memory and DRAM. The overall memory market grew nearly $50 billion in 2017 to total $130 billion, which is a 61.8 percent increase from 2016. Driving this is an expansion in Internet of Things devices.
CC Wei, the co-CEO of TSMC, has told EE Europe that he is cutting previous growth forecasts for the semiconductor industry and for TSMC. This is being interpreted as a reference to poor sales for the Apple iPhone X, especially in the U.S. market. A further factor relates to cryptocurrency. The Asian manufacturer that makes chips for bitcoin mining, and it has also blamed uncertainty over cryptocurrency mining for the weaker than expected growth projected for the rest of this year
CC Wei told CNBC: "We forecast the overall semiconductor market, excluding memory, will grow by 5 percent, while foundry we expect to grow by about a 8 percent. We forecast TSMC's 2018 revenue growth in US dollar will be about a 10 percent, rather than the previously indicated 10 to 15 percent, due to the smartphone weakness and the uncertainty in cryptocurrency mining demand."
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