Samsung challenges Intel's semiconductor dominance

El Segundo (CA) - A rather silent giant from South Korea has grown to be a serious competitor for Intel's leading position as largest semiconductor company. According to a new study released Wednesday, Samsung's sales continued to skyrocket in the second quarter, surpassing all other global top-ten players.

The quarterly results from iSuppli's Competitive Landscaping Tool showed healthy revenue increases of the global semiconductor market of 34.4 percent in the second quarter of 2004 compared to the same period one year ago. Once again, Samsung emerged as the fastest growing company of the industry and gaining significant ground on long-time leader Intel.

According to iSuppli, Samsung increased its revenues by 84.7 percent from $1.98 billion to $3.64 billion, outpacing all of its top-10 competitors. Samsung maintained its second spot in the ranking, but increased its market share from 4.7 to 6.5 percent compared to the second quarter of 2003. Intel at the same time posted the slowest revenue growth of 19.9 percent from $6.07 billion to $7.28 billion. The company's global market share decreased from 16.9 percent to 13.0 percent.

Without question, the competition in the industry is fought fiercely and takes place on a very high level. In a market which traditionally has not shown enormous market share shifts over the past years, it is however even more significant that Samsung appears to be able to steal market shares from Intel which traditionally has been dominating the semiconductor market.

Among the 20 firms monitored by iSuppli, Intel posted the third-lowest revenue growth in the most recent quarter, besting only Fujitsu (15 percent) and Rohm (11 percent). Top performers next to Samsung were Hynix (103.9 percent), Micron (54 percent), AMD/Spansion (49 percent), and Texas Instruments (47 percent).

Samsung's revenue increases were largely attributed to the booming DRAM and Flash markets. The current top-10 list ranking of semiconductor manufacturers consists of Intel, Samsung, Texas Instruments, Renesas, Infineon, STMicroelectronics, Toshiba, NEC, Freescale, and Philips.

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