Worldwide semiconductor revenue is forecast to total $401.4 billion in 2017, an increase of 16.8 percent from 2016, according to Gartner. This will be the first-time semiconductor revenue has surpassed $400 billion. The market reached the $300 billion milestone seven years ago, in 2010, and surpassed $200 billion in 2000.
“A shortage of memory is creating a boom in the overall semiconductor market,” said Andrew Norwood, Research Vice President at Gartner. “Memory vendors have been able to increase their price for DRAM and NAND, driving revenue and margins higher.”
The booming memory market, with revenue forecast to increase 52 percent in 2017, is expected to shake up semiconductor market share rankings. “As the largest memory supplier, Samsung Electronics is set to gain the most,” said Mr. Norwood. “This gives Samsung its best shot at capturing the No. 1 position from Intel for the first time.”
Intel dethroned NEC for the No. 1 position in semiconductor rankings in 1992 and has held it ever since. Samsung captured the No. 2 position in 2002 and has held that since.
“What the memory market gives, the memory market takes away.” says Norwood. “The memory bubble is expected to go bust in 2019 as memory vendors add new supply and Samsung could lose a lot of the gains it makes this year and next.”