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Samsung Challenges Intel For Chip Leadership

By - Source: iSuppli | B 25 comments

It appears as if the chip industry had a much better 2010 than 2009, as the global semiconductor business is estimated to have gained about $70 billion in sales last year.

 Gartner reports that global chip sales surged to $299.4 billion.

"The industrywide upturn was due to the combination of pent-up demand that had built in the wake of the worldwide economic recession, and rebuilding of semiconductor inventories that were significantly depleted during the recession and early recovery," said Peter Middleton, principal analyst at Gartner.

IHS iSuppli came to a similar result and highlighted a race between Intel and Samsung for the dominance in the chip market. Intel increased its sales expand to $40.4 billion in 2010, which translates to a 25.5% improvement over 2009 and a 13.3% market share. Samsung, however, jumped by 59.1% from $17.5 billion to $27.8 billion last year, according to iSuppli. The industry average was 32.1% in iSuppli's charts and 30.9% in Gartner's result.

“The rise of Samsung is one of the biggest stories of the last decade in the worldwide semiconductor market,” said iHS iSuppli analyst Dale Ford. “When experts discuss competition for Intel, they almost always focus on Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). While it is true that AMD is Intel’s major competitor in the microprocessing unit (MPU) market, Samsung is the primary rival of Intel for overall semiconductor market share. And although they are mainly indirect competitors in the marketplace, Intel and Samsung have been ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, for a number of years.”

Since 2001, Intel’s market share has ranged between 11.9% and 14.8%, while Samsung held just 3.9% in 2001. Meanwhile, Samsung has seen its revenues grow by 355% from 2001 to 2010, allowing the company to expand market share and raise its ranking, iSuppli said.

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  • 2 Hide
    someguynamedmatt , April 20, 2011 12:05 AM
    Texas Instruments FTW!
    /random opinion
  • 2 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , April 20, 2011 12:22 AM
    I wonder what would happen if Samsung were to enter into direct competition by developing an x86 CPU?
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , April 20, 2011 12:32 AM
    Samsung makes chips???

    Are they baked, not fried?
  • 2 Hide
    geekapproved , April 20, 2011 1:31 AM
    I ran samsung memory in my computer in the late 90's, they been doing this a long time. I always hoped they would buy AMD and give them the boost they need.
  • 1 Hide
    ta152h , April 20, 2011 2:33 AM
    This is yet another poorly titled article to get people to read it.

    This is no challenge at all. They are in almost completely different markets, and neither is challenged by the success of the other. Does Intel care if Mobil sells a lot of oil and has greater earnings? Why should they care if Samsung sells a lot of memory chips? In some ways, they benefit from it, if they improve performance.

    Samsung and Intel are both top shelf makers. I've used their products for many years (as have many), and have to say I'm rarely disappointed. Well, except for Samsung hard disks, which have been unreliable for me (but they are being sold now anyway).
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , April 20, 2011 3:12 AM
    TA152HThis is yet another poorly titled article to get people to read it.This is no challenge at all. They are in almost completely different markets, and neither is challenged by the success of the other. Does Intel care if Mobil sells a lot of oil and has greater earnings? Why should they care if Samsung sells a lot of memory chips? In some ways, they benefit from it, if they improve performance. Samsung and Intel are both top shelf makers. I've used their products for many years (as have many), and have to say I'm rarely disappointed. Well, except for Samsung hard disks, which have been unreliable for me (but they are being sold now anyway).


    well that statement should make AMD fanboi's breathe a sigh of relief because that list Has AMD at number 12
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 20, 2011 3:44 AM
    This news right after (or before) news that Samsung has sold their HDD division. I guess Samsung is going to focus hard on their memory chips now.
  • 2 Hide
    TitusFFX , April 20, 2011 4:46 AM
    lol texas instruments actually has still kept grounds fairly well even though they are known for mostly calculators.
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , April 20, 2011 4:58 AM
    titusffxlol texas instruments actually has still kept grounds fairly well even though they are known for mostly calculators.


    Yea, TI calculators runs at 12MHZ or so and a Motorola 68000.
    When will make a calculator that can actually graph instantly??

    /TI rant and their stupid hold on the the marketplace with overpriced calculators that have 1980s computing power in them.
  • 1 Hide
    TitusFFX , April 20, 2011 5:05 AM
    >.> no clue when they will actually upgrade the technology but at least I've yet to see one of them explode into a ball of fire due to poor ventaliation or overheating ^.^
  • 0 Hide
    ares1214 , April 20, 2011 5:18 AM
    TA152HThis is yet another poorly titled article to get people to read it.This is no challenge at all. They are in almost completely different markets, and neither is challenged by the success of the other. Does Intel care if Mobil sells a lot of oil and has greater earnings? Why should they care if Samsung sells a lot of memory chips? In some ways, they benefit from it, if they improve performance. Samsung and Intel are both top shelf makers. I've used their products for many years (as have many), and have to say I'm rarely disappointed. Well, except for Samsung hard disks, which have been unreliable for me (but they are being sold now anyway).


    Think again, Samsung makes ARM CPU's, Intel makes x86 CPU's. x86 and ARM are starting to clash, and it will increase more and more, so they are currently working against each other, and that will grow as ARM scales up and x86 scales down.
  • 0 Hide
    cybrcatter , April 20, 2011 6:58 AM
    ares1214Think again, Samsung makes ARM CPU's, Intel makes x86 CPU's. x86 and ARM are starting to clash, and it will increase more and more, so they are currently working against each other, and that will grow as ARM scales up and x86 scales down.

    Not to mention that Windows 8 will support ARM CPUs.
  • 0 Hide
    kkiddu , April 20, 2011 10:22 AM
    Do you guys think ARM will ever replace x86 completely ? Especially in the high-end workstation segment ?
  • 1 Hide
    jsc , April 20, 2011 11:25 AM
    Who knows? I remember back in the days of the 80286 (6 and 8 MHz - '84)hearing people in the industry wonder how they were ever going to make a CPU chip faster than 25 MHz.

    Consider, the whole microprocessor industry evolved from the Intel 4004.

    I'm not making any predictions.
  • 0 Hide
    shompa , April 20, 2011 1:19 PM
    12 years ago Intel had almost 0% high end workstation. It was Sun SPARC, HPUX, IBM stuff. Stuff that worked 24/7/365. PPC/RISC stuff. Most companies IT strategist wanted an all MS enviromet and ditched the other stuff.

    The funny thing is that the world is "switching" back to PPC. Lowend will be owned by ARM(PPC). The next generation of ARM support 64bit and parrallel processing. You can have almost over 24 quod core 2.5ghz ARM with the same 130 watt like one singe quod core XEON.

    I hope Microsoft can make a smooth transition to ARM(PPC) just like Apple did from PPC to X86. Apples Rosetta application made PPC code run on X86. Since that was a technology that Apple bought, I hope MS shells out a couple of dollars and have their version of Rosetta that translates X86 to ARM(PPC). if that happens ARM will take over the world.
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    shompa , April 20, 2011 1:22 PM
    LuckyDucky7I wonder what would happen if Samsung were to enter into direct competition by developing an x86 CPU?


    Intel would not grant them an X86 license. The only reason why X86 exists is beacuse of Windows. Most of the X86 lifespan it has not been the fastest processor. SPARC/IBM has had faster processors.

    X86 will be a niche market for people who believe that they need "highend" stuff for gaming.
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , April 20, 2011 3:23 PM
    ares1214Think again, Samsung makes ARM CPU's, Intel makes x86 CPU's. x86 and ARM are starting to clash, and it will increase more and more, so they are currently working against each other, and that will grow as ARM scales up and x86 scales down.


    Think yet again. Samsung sales are mostly DRAM, not ARM. They do not make a high-end ARM chip, or sell them in volume. ARM will win, or lose, independently of Samsung. There are many ARM manufacturers.

    The lion's share of Intel sales and Samsung sales do not in any way overlap. The cheaper and higher performance memory is, the better for Intel. The higher performance the processors are, and the incentive to upgrade, the better for Samsung.

    Where both companies make most of their money is more cooperative than competitive. Besides, no one will match Intel's manufacturing prowess, the only one that is ever close is IBM.
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , April 20, 2011 3:29 PM
    cybrcatterNot to mention that Windows 8 will support ARM CPUs.


    You're not taking into account that an application written for Windows for x86 will not run on Windows for ARM. You'd need some software emulation, which would make the performance abysmal.

    Windows doesn't sell processors. The applications that run on Windows sell processors. Since they won't run on ARM effectively, it's not at all clear Windows on ARM will make any difference at all. I don't know many people that don't think Windows sucks, and I don't know anyone who buys Windows because they love Windows (such freaks surely exist, I just have been lucky enough not to meet them). They buy it because of all the apps. Take that away, and how attractive is Windows 8 for ARM on the desktop? Probably not very.

    So, its more for emerging markets, but Windows being as bad as it is, will it make much headway where the monopoly situation isn't the salient characteristic of the market? Will the familiarity of it win out against superior designs? I guess time will tell, but Microsoft almost invariably fails when they can't leverage their monopoly position effectively. It doesn't mean the will this time, but it's certainly of some predictive value.
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    TitusFFX , April 20, 2011 4:07 PM
    Most previous ARM was based on an OS that used 8/16 bit processes like in Windows CE so who knows what will come of a more complex OS using the same type of processors. >.> hopefully they will fix the issue of the backup battery saying it's dying even though it's a brandnew one in it....
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 20, 2011 4:21 PM
    The mobile sector is progressing at an alarming rate compared to the desktop market. If anything, Samsung is without a doubt one of the leading chip makers in this realm and portable device popularity is only expected to rise infinitely in the coming years. Whether or not this will cause overlap between Samsung's chip products and Intel's only time will tell. It is obvious though that Intel see's the huge potential of the mobile sector and is rushing to bring a smartphone suitable Atom chip to market but unless it stands out in some significant way, there are many players already in the mobile chip sector who have established themselves as leaders, Samsung being one of the key ones. The desktop as we know it is a gradually dying breed of machine in alot of homes today being replaced by laptops and mobile phone laptop like dock's, similar to what the Motorola Atrix currently offers will soon be staples in the house of the future (by future I mean in the next 5 years).
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