back to article Samsung topples Intel as semiconductor top dog, but lead 'literally built on sand'

Gartner beancounters say price rises driven by memory shortages propelled Samsung into the lead based on semiconductor vendor revenue, vaulting past Intel and its CPUs. Gartner research VP Andrew Norwood said: "The largest memory supplier, Samsung Electronics, gained the most market share and took the No. 1 position from Intel …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sucks to be Intel this year. All Samsung need to do now is release a non-broken x86-64 chip and Intel are in serious trouble.

    1. ToddRundgrensUtopia

      Not unless they buy the only other IA86 licensee, AMD.

      1. Not That Andrew

        They could always buy Cyrix's & Centaur's licences off VIA

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      "All Samsung need to do now"

      Sure. All they need to do now is have spent a few dozen billions on a 10nm chip fab three years ago, and have it start churning out a brand new design in the next month.

      Somehow, I don't think that's going to happen.

      1. Steve Todd

        Re: "All Samsung need to do now" @Pascal

        Erm, Samsung HAVE a 10nm process that actually works and yields at an acceptable level (something that Intel have spectacularly failed at, their 10nm process is over 2 years late and still isn't ready for volume production).

        As for the other part of the equation, that rather depends on how you look at things. They've been an ARM shop for quite some time (with the Exynos line), which has comprehensively beaten Intel in the mobile category. They can't whip up a competitive x86 design overnight, but they could start fabbing AMD designs for them in fairly short order.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: "All Samsung need to do now" @Pascal

          What Samsung calls its 10nm process is, like TSMC's 10nm process, comparable to Intel's 14nm process. Samsung and TSMC's 7nm processes are comparable to Intel's 10nm process so when they start shipping 7nm stuff later this year then they will be ahead of Intel. Rumors have it that Intel is having terrible problems with their 10nm process which is why they keep adding another '+' to their 14nm and claiming that tweak is revolutionary...

          As for designing their own x86-64, don't make me laugh. Given how poorly their Exynos cores compare to those in Apple's SoC which has more than double the single threaded performance, they couldn't hope to compete with either Intel or AMD - and x64-64 is a far more complicated ISA to design for than the relatively clean ARM64 ISA.

        2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          @ Steve Todd

          Agreed, they do have one. It is fully booked and not ready for another design at this point. They would be daft to stop what they are currently producing there just to try piss off Intel, not to mention the contractual obligations that almost certainly prevent that.

          That's why I said they need to have made another one.

  2. tiggity Silver badge

    Intel can regain top spot

    Just replace all their billions of installed insecure chips with secure ones ....

    Might not be profitable but would keep those dies busy

  3. sisk Silver badge

    Who are the "others"?

    Awful easy to fiddle the data here. All you'd have to do is shove any company you didn't want to show into the "Others" category. And unless they happened to be a major player like AMD no one would notice.


    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Who are the "others"?

      Its "Top 10 + Other" based on 2017 market share, so it is clear from the table that any company included in "Other" had less than 2.1% market share - can't be that major.

    2. Steve Foster

      Re: Who are the "others"?

      But AMD got out of actually making chips for themselves, didn't they? (IIRC, they mostly get them from Global Foundries [who also don't make the top 10]).

      Meanwhile, if 10th place has 2.1% share, and "others" are 40% of the overall market, that suggests there are a lot of bit players (at least 21!).

  4. David Roberts Silver badge


    Got to wait until 2019 for the RAM upgrade.

  5. LDS Silver badge

    Aren't all these business built on "sand"?

    Were most of the silicon is, after all?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Of course this is all speculation...

    And look what trouble that's got us into recently.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Windows is going to support ARM processors in the near future, why would Samsung buy AMD?

  8. Death Boffin


    I wondered why TSMC wasn't on the list. According to their latest financial figures, they should be number 3.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: TSMC?

      They're a foundry, this list is comparing companies that sell their own chips - that's why Qualcomm and Broadcom are on the list even though they don't manufacture the chips they sell, and Western Digital is on the list when they sell SSDs using NAND chips they bought from someone else (which are probably double counted here...)

  9. NeilPost

    Bogus data?

    How come ‘Others’ at $175bn is almost the same value as the top 10 on the list added together.

    The 10th player is Only $8bn, so the table looks a little bogus IMHO. At best there are 22 ‘niche’ Chip makers doing $8bn each which seems a bit implausible.

    Any fact checking done on the story, or are you hiring #advancedcontentwriters from the Daily Mirror these days???

  10. PNGuinn Silver badge

    Oh, Gartner

    So, nothing to see here.

    Please move along now. Another prediction will be along in a minute.

  11. Alien8n Silver badge

    Built on sand?

    Aren't all semi-conductor businesses built on sand? Silicon is after all what they make...

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