Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest maker of computer memory chips and the second-biggest semiconductor company, reduced its gap with industry leader Intel Corp. in 2010, according to an industry report Sunday, fueled by its memory business.
Samsung accounted for 9.2 percent of the global chip revenue in 2010, up from a 7.6 percent share in 2009, according to the latest report from IHS iSuppli, a market research firm. The Korean chipmaker’s market share is 4.1 percentage points behind Intel, it said.
Although Samsung and Intel do not compete directly in the marketplace, Samsung is the primary rival of Intel for overall semiconductor market share, iSuppli said in the report.
Samsung climbed three notches up from the world’s fifth-largest chipmaker in 2001 to the runner-up, as its revenue surged 355 percent from 2001 to 2010.
Intel, which held a 14.9 percent market share in 2001, maintained a lead through 2010 with a market share ranging between 11.9 percent and 14.8 percent, according to iSuppli.
The research firm attributed Samsung’s ascent to robust sales of memory integrated circuits, the biggest growing segment in the chip industry last year.
Within the memory sector, dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and NAND flash were the two largest growth drivers, rising 75 percent and 38.6 percent from the previous year, respectively.
Samsung, which is the world’s top supplier of DRAM and NAND flash memory chips, posted a 59.1 percent jump in its semiconductor revenue in 2010 from the previous year, outperforming the overall semiconductor industry’s 32.1 percent expansion.
The booming memory market fueled the revenue growth of other memory chipmakers, iSuppli said, including U.S.-based Micron Technology Inc., Korean chipmaking giant Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and Japan-based Elpida Memory Inc., according to the research firm.
Micron climbed five notches up to the No. 8 spot in 2010. Hynix was ranked sixth after posting a 66.2 percent annual revenue growth while Elpida’s revenue jumped 63.3 percent on-year in 2010, ranking it as No. 11, iSuppli said.