It’s been a tough year for Samsung’s semiconductor business as DRAM and NAND flash sales have slowed down. A couple of months ago, analysts were predicting Samsung’s Q3 2019 operating profits to fall by 60%, and now, according to new bits of information passed along by The Korea Herald, Samsung might relinquish its number one spot to Intel by the end of the year.
Intel’s computer chip business to propel the company at the top
Citing IC Insights, the recent report states that the memory market will record a 34% decline by the end of 2019. This doesn’t affect only Samsung, but rather the entire segment. The memory business enjoyed a two-year boom but the party is coming to an end. As DRAM and NAND flash sales continue to decline, Intel is now expected to regain 1st place in the semiconductor segment thanks to its healthy computer chip business.
Intel has been the world’s largest chipmaker for 24 years before Samsung picked up the pace during the DRAM boom and dethroned the company a couple of years ago. Samsung was already building a gap and the company was said to have outsold Intel by 23% in the same year. It was quite an achievement given Intel’s reign, but it looks like the US-based chipmaker might be able to make a comeback. And while that happens, IC Insights also predicts that SK Hynix will drop to fourth place.
Samsung could still be able to fight back
Earlier this year, Samsung Electronics confirmed its ambitions to tackle the semiconductor business and keep fighting Intel. At that time, the company said it wants to invest $115 billion in logic chip development by 2030.
This could offset the declining sales of NAND flash and DRAM chips and should help Samsung Electronics remain competitive, at least in theory. 10 years is a long way to go, and indeed, time will tell whether Samsung will be able to challenge Intel once more.