Samsung dethrones Intel as chip sector grows 26% in 2021

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Despite (and perhaps because) of ongoing shortages, the semiconductor industry posted $595 billion in revenue in 2021, an increase of 26.3 percent over 2020.

The numbers, from Gartner, also make plain the effects of US sanctions against China, whose market share fell, and which did not have a single manufacturer present in the top 10 list (sorted by total 2021 revenue).

The biggest news of the report was Samsung overtaking Intel in the top spot, albeit barely: Samsung's chip biz grew 28 percent from 2020 to 2021, while Intel lost 0.3 percent over the same period. Now Samsung sits atop the list with $73.2 billion in revenue and a 12.3 percent market share, while Intel nips at its heels with $72.5 billion in revenue and a 12.2 percent share of the spoils. It's a lead, but one that could easily evaporate by the end of 2022.

All of this profit continues despite a chip shortage that's been ongoing for two years with signs that it may not abate as soon as predicted. On a Q1 2022 investor call, TSMC CEO CC Wei said he sees the shortage continuing, warning that TSMC will have a tight production capacity across its entire operation. Wei said the same during last year's Q1 earnings call when he warned that capacity would likely be tightened into 2023.
 
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