“A shortage of memory is creating a boom in the overall semiconductor market,” says Gartner’s Andrew Norwood, “memory vendors have been able to increase their price for DRAM and NAND, driving revenue and margins higher.”
The booming memory market, with revenue forecast to increase 52% in 2017, is expected to shake up semiconductor market share rankings.
“As the largest memory supplier, Samsung Electronics is set to gain the most,” says Norwood, “this gives Samsung its best shot at capturing the No. 1 position from Intel for the first time.”
Intel dethroned NEC for the No. 1 position in semiconductor rankings in 1992 and has held it ever since. Samsung captured the No. 2 position in 2002 and has held that ever since.
If Intel holds on to the No,1 slot this year it would have matched TI ‘s 25 year reign as No,1 between 1959 and 1984. As it looks now, Samsung will pip Intel to the post this year and Intel’s chance of emulating TI will have been whisked away at the last moment.
“What the memory market gives, the memory market takes away,” says Norwood, “the memory bubble is expected to go bust in 2019 as memory vendors add new supply and Samsung could lose a lot of the gains it makes this year and next.”
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