A new report by IC Insights Thursday said that Intel is expected to regain its top spot among semiconductor suppliers this year. Intel had held the number 1 supplier rank for 23 years straight until 2017, when the company lost its position to Samsung.
Competitors Hit by Memory Revenue Loss
The supplier ranking monitored by IC Insights is based on revenue gained by the semiconductor companies. The memory industry has recently been forced to drastically cut the price of both DRAM and NAND flash chips, negatively impacting the revenues of companies like Samsung. This should allow Intel to become once again the top semiconductor company by revenue, semiconductor market research firm predicted.
The memory market is expected to drop 24 percent this year, IC Insights said, with Samsung and other memory suppliers also expected to lose 20 percent or more of their revenues this year.
Intel, on the other hand, is expected to see a 1 percent increase in memory revenue this year. Samsung is expected to hit $63.1 billion in sales, while Intel is expected to reach $70.6 billion.
Some Positive News for Intel
Intel investors have been hammered by bad news lately, starting with Spectre flaws in 2018, a failure from the company to deliver the 10nm process for the mass production of its chips, a CPU shortage, AMD’s announcement of the Zen 2 architecture. More recently, there's been rumor that Apple will replace the Intel chips its in Macbook line-up with Arm chips.
This report by IC Insights may help investors regain faith in the Intel stock, as the company seems to have been better at surviving the drastic price cuts in the NAND flash market compared to its competitors.
However, the NAND flash business is only a small portion of Intel’s total revenues, so Intel (and its investors) may not be out of the woods yet.