[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics is poised to become the world’s largest semiconductor provider in terms of sales in the second quarter, beating US-based Intel for the first time in 24 years, according to global financial sources on July 2.
Japan’s Nomura Securities said in a recent report that Samsung is expected to post US$15.1 billion of second-quarter sales for its chipmaking business, exceeding US-based Intel’s estimated US$14.4 billion of sales.
An employee works at a memory chip production line of Samsung Electronics in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. /Samsung Electronics
If the forecast is accurate, the Korean chipmaker would become an outright leader of the global semiconductor market for the first time in 24
Although Samsung has been leading the memory chip market, it has remained behind Intel in the global central processing unit market, as the Korean company has focused more on manufacturing DRAM and NAND flash chips.
“As demand for DRAM chips and solid state drives is rising, market prices shot up,” the Nomura report said. “The memory chip market growth outstripped that of CPU market.”
The Japanese stock brokerage also forecast Samsung’s annual sales would reach $63.6 billion, larger than Intel’s $60.5 billion, if current chip prices continue to rise or hold.
Market researcher IC Insights also announced in May that Samsung could beat Intel in combined sales of all semiconductors, calling it a “milestone” in the global chipmaking industry.
According to the researcher, DRAM prices jumped 45 percent in the first quarter of this year from a year earlier, while NAND flash prices soared 40 percent.
“After nearly a quarter of a century, the semiconductor industry could see a new No. 1 supplier in 2Q17,” an IC Insights report said. “If memory market prices continue to hold or increase through 2Q17 and the balance of this year, Samsung could charge into the top spot and displace Intel, which has held the No. 1 ranking since 1993.”
By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)