SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) — Samsung Electronics Co. maintained the status as the world’s second-largest semiconductor vendor by revenue last year, industry data showed Tuesday, amid rising demand of memory products on the back of the pandemic-induced stay-at-home economy.
Samsung’s chip business logged US$57.7 billion in revenue last year, up 10.2 percent from a year earlier, to capture 12.4 percent of the global semiconductor market, according to data from U.S.-based research firm Gartner.
Intel Corp. defended its top position with a 15.6 percent market share after collecting $72.7 billion in revenue in 2020, up 7.4 percent from a year earlier.
Samsung was relegated to the No. 2 spot in the global semiconductor market in 2019, which was the first time since 2016 that the world’s largest memory producer gave up the top position.
Samsung’s South Korean compatriot SK hynix Inc. remained the No. 3 player with a 5.5 percent market share and $25.8 billion in revenue last year, up 16 percent from a year ago.
SK hynix was followed by U.S. semiconductor firms Micron Technology Inc., Qualcomm Inc., Broadcom Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc.
Global semiconductor revenue totaled $466.2 billion in 2020, up 10.4 percent from a year ago, driven by memory, graphics processing units (GPUs) and 5G chipsets, according to Gartner.
The market researcher said the memory sector, which is dominated by South Korean chipmakers, was the second best-performing device category with a 13.5 percent on-year revenue increase last year.
Memory accounted for 26.7 percent of the total semiconductor sales in 2020, Gartner said, as demand for memory chips surged on remote working and distance learning trends. Among memory products, NAND flash posted the best performance with revenue growth of 25.2 percent.
Gartner predicted that Samsung, the global leader in both DRAM and NAND flash, may recapture the top spot from Intel in chip revenue this year on the back of its robust performance in the memory business.
“In 2021, both NAND flash and DRAM will be in shortage, sending pricing higher through the year and revenues rocketing by around 25 percent” said Andrew Norwood, research vice president at Gartner. “This sets memory-focused Samsung up with a good chance of recapturing the top spot in the semiconductor market from Intel in 2021.”