Report says Samsung takes over Intel as top chipmaker by revenue

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Samsung Electronics took over the top spot in the global semiconductor market by revenue in the third quarter on the back of strong memory chip sales, a new report revealed on Tuesday.

Industry tracker Omdia said Intel, which had been the top chipmaker for 11 straight quarters, slipped to number two behind Samsung “as the memory segment, where Samsung is the number one DRAM and NAND supplier, was the largest growth area for semiconductor” in the three months ending in September.

DRAM, or dynamic random-access memory, is a type of volatile semiconductor memory that retains data as long as power is supplied. It is commonly used in personal computers, workstations, and servers. NAND flash is a type of non-volatile storage that does not require power to store data.

According to Omdia, memory chip revenue rose 12 percent from the previous quarter, as demand for the chips used in applications and infrastructure for remote working and virtual learning has contributed to the growth. And the segment made up 29 percent of all semiconductor revenue.

As a result, three of the global top four chipmakers were memory-focused semiconductor companies — Samsung, SK hynix and Micron Technology — in the same period.

The semiconductor market reached $153.2 billion in revenue in the July-September period, up 7.6 percent from the second quarter, continuing to set records for four consecutive quarters, reports Yonhap news agency.

Omdia contributed a pandemic-induced shift towards a more technology-focused global economy to the market’s solid growth.

In the DRAM sector, Samsung’s market share rose to 43.9 percent from 43.2 percent in the second quarter, while SK hynix took up 27.6 percent, down 0.6 percentage point, and Micron stayed put at 22.7 percent.

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