The New Chip King: Samsung Steals Semiconductor Crown from Intel

For more than two decades, Intel was the world’s leading manufacturer of computer chips.

That reign has come to an end.

As of Samsung’s most recent quarter, reported last week, the company has taken the crown from Intel. Samsung generated more than $7 billion in profit on revenues of nearly $16 billion from its silicon chip business from April through June, ahead of Intel’s $15 billion revenue figure over the same period.

So, Samsung has taken the lead on a quarterly basis. But what about an annual basis? The company is not there yet, but it’s on track to accomplish this for 2017.

Intel’s bread and butter is personal computers, which hasn’t changed since the company stole the throne from Japan’s NEC in 1992. Samsung, however, has outpaced Intel’s growth by focusing on making components for mobile devices, which have continued to grow rapidly as the PC market stagnated and, more recently, started to shrink.

There is an even newer trend than mobile VS PC, though, as far as chips are concerned. And that’s in-house chips. Giants like Apple and Microsoft have begun developing their own silicon brains, specifically dedicated to artificial intelligence tasks.