Samsung Electronics' semiconductor division has reported sales of $62.03 billion in 2017, bringing the company to the top spot of the chipset category with a market share of 14.5-percent, which marks a 53.4-percent annual increase. More to the point, Samsung now eclipsed the former chipset market leader Intel, which posted sales of $61.46 billion, accounting for 14.3-percent of the global market. The figures are based on data collected by analytics company IHS Markit and mark the history's first occasion on which Samsung's semiconductor business outperformed that of Intel on a yearly basis.
Additionally, the report states that SK Hynix came in third with total sales of $26.64 billion last year, which represents a market share of 5.2-percent. Trailing SK Hynix were Micron Technology, Broadcom, and Qualcomm. Industry watchers in South Korea already predicted last year that Samsung and SK Hynix were on track to hit record quarterly profits in 2017, and according to IHS Markit's report, the combined market share of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix in the global semiconductor segment reached 20.7-percent last year.
The South Korean tech giant has also been growing its stake in the chipset market by developing processors for various products and applications. Last September, Samsung announced that it plans to introduce 11nm chipsets for its upper mid-range handsets. Samsung's current Galaxy A mid-range lineup is powered by chips based on the 14nm process. With the 11nm process, the company could deliver an unprecedented level of energy efficiency in the said price bracket without sacrificing performance. In fact, the process is expected to boost performance by up to 15-percent, provided no power consumption optimizations are prioritized. The 11nm process is set to hit the production line in the first half of 2018. Last month, Samsung Electronics was reportedly gearing up for the debut of its first chipset for the automotive industry, with the silicon being referred to as the Exynos Auto. The device is expected to first be made available to Audi, one of Samsung's existing partners in the segment.