Intel stays atop chip market but Samsung gains in tough 2009

Intel remained the world’s largest chip maker by revenue for the 18th consecutive year in 2009, despite an overall decline in the global chip market, Gartner said Monday.

Intel’s share of the chip market reached 14.6 percent in 2009, up from 13.6 percent in 2008 due to strong PC sales, the market research company said in its Semiconductor DQ Monday Report.

The global chip market declined 10.5 percent last year overall to $228.4 billion, down $28.6 billion from a year earlier, amid a global recession that saw several companies file for bankruptcy. It was the second straight yearly decline ever for the chip industry, Gartner said.

South Korea’s memory chip giants were the only two companies to post revenue growth in 2009, Gartner said, after the memory chip industry rebounded. Everyone else showed declines. Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest memory chip maker, maintained its second place rank globally with $17.7 billion in revenue, up from $17.4 billion a year earlier. The company took a 7.7 percent share of the global chip market and its revenue was a little over half of Intel’s, which was $33.3 billion last year.

Hynix Semiconductor, South Korea’s other major memory chip maker, saw revenue rise to $6.04 billion from $6.01 billion and it moved to seventh place from ninth in global chip rankings, with a 2.6 percent share of the market.

The two companies benefited from a rise in DRAM and NAND flash memory chip prices after the market bottomed in 2008, Gartner said.

The top five chip makers on Gartner’s ranking remained the same as last year—Intel, Samsung, Toshiba, Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics, in that order—while Qualcomm jumped to sixth place in 2009 from eighth a year earlier.

Infineon Technologies saw the largest revenue decline due to the bankruptcy of DRAM maker Qimonda, in which Infineon owned a major stake. Gartner added Qimonda’s revenue to Infineon’s total. The company ranked tenth on Gartner’s list.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) was the only new company on Gartner’s top ten list, taking ninth place, while Renesas Technology ended up in eighth place.

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