SEOUL, Mar. 8 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. may relinquish its top semiconductor supplier’s rank to U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp. this year due to the cooling memory chip market, an industry report showed Friday.
With 83 percent of Samsung’s semiconductor sales relying on memory devices, such as DRAM and NAND flash, last year, the memory market downturn is expected to drag the company’s total semiconductor sales down by some 20 percent in 2019, according to the market research IC Insights.
Although Intel’s semiconductor sales are forecast to be relatively flat, the leader in computer chips is poised to regain the top semi supplier spot, it said. Intel held the throne from 1993 through 2016.
With both the DRAM and NAND flash markets forecast to show big declines this year, IC Insights expects greater than 20 percent sales declines for other top memory suppliers, including SK hynix, Micron and Toshiba in 2019.
IC Insights forecast a steep 24 percent drop in memory sales to pull down the total semiconductor market by 7 percent.
“This year will likely prove once again that the infamous volatile integrated circuit (IC) industry cycles are still very much alive and well in the memory market,” IC Insights said.
“With the memory suppliers expected to encounter a very difficult year in 2019, large capital spending cutbacks from these producers are likely to drag down worldwide semiconductor industry capital spending by at least 14 percent this year.”