Intel's lead in semiconductors could be challenged by Samsung

Intel's lead in semiconductors could be challenged by Samsung
Intel is the undisputed leader in semiconductors, but because its dominance includes 80% of the slower growing computer processor market, it leaves open the possibility that another company could overtake Intel as 'King of the Chips'. That could be Samsung. While growth in the Mobile Applications Processor market, where Samsung lives, is seen growing at 40% a year through 2014, Computer Processor growth will be in the single digits. According to NH Investment and Securities, by 2014 the Mobile Applications Processor market will have jumped fourfold to $33 billion while the Comuer Processor market will shrink by more than 10% to $34 billion. And while that is good for Samsung (and Qualcomm and TI), it is bad news for Intel which has yet to make anything close to a dent in the mobile market.

Intel has seen the launch of the first smartphone to use its Medfield processor in the Lava International Xolo X900 which was released in India. Lenovo and Motorola both plan on building smartphones with Intel inside, but the chip maker is well behind leaders like the Samsung Exynos processor and the Qualcomm Snapdragon.The $311 billion semiconductor industry is no longer led by PC's and laptops. Now, it is smartphones and tablets that are running the show. In an example of this, Samsung, which is the leader in memory chips for computers, is converting some production from those memory chips to logic chips used in mobile devices and will spend $2 billion for a new logic chip plant in South Korea where the company is based. And now the Intel-Microsoft combination which for years was the choice for PC makers, is being threatened by the Redmond based software giant's decision to offer ARM based tablets running Windows 8. The scary thing for Intel is that this could suggest that ARM based processors could be eventually used in PCs, eliminating the need for the chip that provides the lion's share of Intel's revenue.

Can Samsung catch up and overtake Intel? Last year Intel sold $48.7 billion in chips, about $20 billion more than Samsung sold according to iSuppli. How can the Korean based tech titan pass Samsung? At least one analyst says it would require a huge growth in Samsung's memory chip sales and a stumble by Intel. Mike Howard, an analyst at iSuppli, says that while Samsung could have trouble growing its share in memory chips, he sees Intel having to form a major alliance long term to hold off Samsung. If Samsung does have one disadvantage, because it produces smartphones and tablets as well as the chips inside, some producers of mobile devices might not award business to them.Another battle will be in the manufacturing process. Samsung expects to produce 14nm and 20nm Exynos chips next year while Intel is spending $5 billion to build a factory in Chandler, Arizona to manufacture 15nm chips. And that sus up the whole semiconductor picture. With Intel and Samsung battling for supremacy of the semiconductor market, it is the end user that will benefit from the smaller and faster chips being made.

source: Reuters

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12 Comments

1. khmer

Posts: 95; Member since: Jun 21, 2012

If Intel make chips for mobile devices, Samsung must make chips for PC and laptops to challenge Intel and AMD.

5. ph00ny

Posts: 1994; Member since: May 26, 2011

That's actually not a good idea. There is a good reason why intel is still the leader and AMD is falling behind every year

6. RageQuit

Posts: 44; Member since: Sep 05, 2011

Actually Samsung cannot. Samsung makes ARM processors, which take less power than intel's x86 but also dont perform as well as x86 when the voltage is increased. x86 Archtecture that can be used for computers because all the major OSs only run on x86(albeit windows 8 will have an ARM version but it wont be able to run any programs besides the ones it comes with because all desktop computer programs are x86). intel is getting into the mobile market by scaleing down the x86 architecture and using a x86 version of android( intel has mad it so that their new medfield x86 processor will be able to run about 90% of android apps) the thing is Samsung doesnt have the ability to make x86 due to patents and intel also has a tight grip on companies makeing them buy all intel(AMD is pretty much alive just thought the consumer market and places where intel lets them at this point).

9. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Except the growth is going to occur in the MAP market space that Samsung has a pretty good command of (certainly better than Intel). Low power chips is not Intel's strong suit. Intel is going to have to bring its 'A' game to make inroads on Sammy. Something tells me the consumer is going to benefit. Especially if Intel gets serious.

2. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

The advantage of Samsung is they build the final end products too. Having other companies use their hardware is a good thing for income but they don't really need to since they can use their supplies themselves. Samsung overtaking Intel is not something impossible. But Intel is yet to make a big move, so until they tumble down we really won't know.

3. andrew1953

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 13, 2011

In the e.d competition gives customers a better product. Go Samsung

4. RoundBallmer

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Shameless samsuck

7. RageQuit

Posts: 44; Member since: Sep 05, 2011

i think once intel gets into the Mobile market they will start to dominate, they just have so much more cash than the compation and x86 medfields seem to be really powerful, just got to wait and see until they get into the high end market.

8. jove39

Posts: 2140; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Intel's attempt to challenge arm based chips are just...quite underwhelming...intel could have played a top card by partnering with MS to run WP8 on x86 based cpu...w8 is already sharing kernel with wp8...it would have been perfect!

10. Suts_97

Posts: 128; Member since: May 05, 2012

Samsung, you are going to be then new King soon!

11. Mitchel

Posts: 228; Member since: May 25, 2012

Lebron James & Samsung are destined to be the new KING!!!

12. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Where the hell is AMD? It looks like they have only 2yrs left before they went bankrupt.

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