For the first time in 25 years, Intel has lost its throne as the “world’s largest chipmaker.” While Intel manufactures more than just chipsets, their quarter century dominance in the chip market shows just how important Intel has been in the tech industry. However, the South Korean multinational conglomerate Samsung has overtaken Intel to become the new “world’s largest chipmaker.”
Last year, Samsung registered a $67 billion revenue in their chipset division alone, over $5 billion more revenue than Intel reported. Even as Intel reported an increase from 2016, Samsung’s growth allowed them to surpass Intel.
Samsung’s success was likely tied to the increase in demand for DRAM (dynamic random access memory) and NAND, the former being one of the most common RAM used in computers and the latter being a type of nonvolatile storage system that doesn’t need power to retain memory of the data, a memory system used in USB flash drives and digital cameras. It also helped Samsung that there was a relative supply shortage of DRAM and NAND due to the sudden increase in demand. As the market stabilizes, no one can really predict if Samsung will stay on the throne.
However, even though both companies make processors, their market focus is very different. Intel chooses to focus on computers while Samsung is all about mobile. The South Korean giant is said to be expanding its focus to include automotive and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as well.