Samsung Grows Global Chipmaking Lead In 1H 2018: Data

Samsung has topped IC Insights' list of semiconductor suppliers yet again, adding another 22-percent to its sales lead over its primary competitor Intel. In terms of quarter-over-quarter changes, the American company did gain six-percent more sales than the Korean tech giant at $16.753 billion. Samsung is noted as having landed at $20.384 billion for the quarter with an increase of five-percent. However, the company did manage to increase its earnings for the first half of 2018 by 36-percent from last year. Samsung ended the first half of 2018 at $39.785 billion compared to Intel's $32.585 billion. The bulk of that increase comes down to continued advancements in the memory portion of its semiconductor business. That's hardly surprising since it's an area Samsung has excelled in over the past several years. IC Insights predicts that will account for as much as 84-percent of the company's overall sales in 2018 at around $70.0 billion, compared to other semiconductor-related components at $13.5 billion.

That trend in memory sales increases also seems to have extended nearly across that entire sphere of the industry. SK Hynix and Micron saw year-over-year increases of 56-percent and 45-percent, respectively. The former ended the second quarter of 2018 with $9.613 billion in sales, which represents an 18-percent increase from the first quarter. Micron's sales over that same period were only 6-percent higher compared to last quarter but the company still brought in $7.92 billion in sales. TSMC, expected to be partnering with its 7nm process node on the HiSilicon Kirin 980 and possibly the Snapdragon 855 mobile SoCs, rounds out the top five with 12-percent gains year-over-year. Meanwhile, MediaTek actually made the largest gains quarter-over-quarter. The company rose 20-percent from Q1 2018 with $2.032 billion in sales, rising from an over 2017 ranking at number 16 to spot 15.  However, that's also offset by the company's year-over-year growth of around $2 million - less than one percent. Conversely, NVIDIA saw a growth in sales of around 53-percent over the first half of 2017.

Of the top fifteen semiconductor companies which made it onto IC Insights's list, only TSMC actually lost sales over the Q2 2018 period. Its sales dropped by approximately seven percent. Taken in total, the company's on the list managed just above $182.33 billion in sales over last year's $147.118 billion. That's an increase of around 24-percent compared to 2017's 20-percent sales gain over the same annual period. IC Insights doesn't indicate what may have driven that increase, though it's not unlikely that a continuing surge in IoT devices and other technology innovations is playing at least some role in rising sales.

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