Samsung Electronics Co. has toppled Intel Corp. as the world’s largest chip maker by revenue, a title it has held for nearly a quarter of a century, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Samsung’s semiconductor unit reported second-quarter sales of US$15.7 billion, mostly from memory chips used in mobile phones, and operating profit of US$7.1 billion, the newspaper said.
Intel, which dominates the market for microprocessors, had a revenue of US$14.8 billion and operating profit of US$3.8 billion during the period, the report said.
This is the first quarter in which Samsung, for years lagging behind Intel in the US$365 billion semiconductor industry, has topped US company in semiconductor sales, according to industry researcher IC Insights Inc.
Analysts expect Samsung to maintain its lead at least through the end of this year amid a shortage of memory chips, the WSJ said.
Samsung has recently become a dominant player in two major types of memory chips: NAND, which is used for data storage, and DRAM, which a computer processor needs in order to function.
Over the past year NAND prices rose 50 percent while those of DRAM surged 115 percent on the spot market, the report said, citing data from DRAMeXchange.
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