Based on revenue, Samsung Electronics has reclaimed the number one semiconductor manufacturer spot on the back of a strong Q2 2021, according to the latest IC Insight's The McClean Report, which investigates the state of the semiconductor industry in several areas.
The South Korean company achieved a 19 percent increase in overall IC sales compared to Q1 2021, bringing in a total of $20.29 billion in the April-June period alone. Of that amount, $19.26 billion came from integrated circuit (IC) sales, while the remaining $1.03 billion came from optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete (OSD) sales.
On the other hand, Intel achieved a smaller three percent QoQ (Quarter-over-Quarter) increase that resulted in a cool $19.3 billion in chip sales. For reference, AMD, which is generally considered to have a competitive CPU portfolio compared to Intel, brought in a comparatively measly $3.85 billion.
Interestingly, IC Insights had already foreseen such a change of hats in the semiconductor kingdoms back in May - though both Intel and Samsung beat the market analyst's report by almost $3 billion.
According to the present-day report, Samsung has achieved the top spot mainly due to ascending ASP (Average Sale Price) of NAND and DRAM, with the latter being a significant high-volume advantage over Intel, which doesn't produce RAM. Samsung had last been the top manufacturer back in Q3 2018 - again on the back of strong NAND and DRAM results in the midst of a market shortage. Nowadays, the reasons for the shortages and increased demand are slightly different - but the result appears to be the same.
However, Intel still stands as the de-facto king of the hill of semiconductor-bound companies - Intel solidly commanded the top semiconductor manufacturers for a still unchallenged 23 years, from 1993 to 2016. It also still holds the crown for logic production.
The McClean Report further lists out the top ten companies in the semiconductor space, where it's revealed that TSMC achieved the third spot with revenue of $13.31 billion, up three percent from a quarter earlier. Finally, adding to the importance of NAND manufacturing and market pricing to many manufacturer's bottom lines, Sk Hynix managed to take the fourth spot with the highest increase in QoQ revenue: 21 percent quarter-on-quarter, the highest among the top 10 vendors, to $9.21 billion.