According to Japanese media reports, Gartner, a U.S. market research organization, released the 2019 global semiconductor manufacturer sales rankings on Tuesday. South Korea's Samsung Electronics, which ranked continuously at the top of the list from 2017 to 2018, retreated to the second place due to the deterioration of the main product memory chip market.
Against the backdrop of a recovery in server-oriented CPU (central processing unit) demand, Intel (59.43, -0.16, -0.27%), which has an overwhelming market share in this field, has once again returned to the top of the list after three years.
According to Gartner statistics, global semiconductor sales in 2019 fell by 11.9% year-on-year to $ 418.3 billion. In particular, memory chips, whose prices have deteriorated significantly, saw a 31.5% year-on-year decrease in sales.
Samsung's semiconductor sales in 2019 were 52.2 billion US dollars, a year-on-year decrease of 29.1%. Intel sales were $ 65.7 billion, a slight decrease of 0.7% year-on-year.
Samsung, which lost the top spot, holds 40% of the global memory chip market, and memory chips account for more than 80% of its semiconductor business. Due to factors such as the expansion of the demand for data center construction, there was a boom period in the market called the "super cycle" from 2017 to 2018, but the increase in production by various companies caused the market situation to deteriorate. Semiconductor sales of SK Hynix, Korea's No. 3 and No. 4 Micron (57.52, 0.07, 0.12%), both ranked third in sales, also declined sharply.
Pushing Intel back to the top is its data center-oriented CPU with a market share of more than 90%. The first half of 2019 was at a time when customers' investment cycles were not connected, and the business was forced to stagnate, but the demand for high-performance products for AI (Artificial Intelligence) computing increased significantly in the second half of the year. Data center-oriented annual sales estimates also exceed actual 2018 results.
Among Japanese companies, KIOXIA, a large-scale memory chip company, ranked No. 9. In June 2018, since it was independent from Toshiba, only the second half of the year was counted, so it fell out of the top 10.