Samsung could displace Intel as the world’s biggest chip company in 2017Enlarge (credit: Samsung)
Intel has been the world’s biggest chipmaker by revenue since January of 1993, when sales of its 386 and 486 processors helped it surpass Japanese companies like NEC and Toshiba.

The release of the first Pentium CPU later that year and the proliferation of Windows 95 and 98-powered PCs over the next decade helped keep Intel on top.

The company continues to grow today—revenue from chips for PCs, servers, and Internet of Things devices is all still increasing year-over-year.
But a new report by IC Insights suggests that Intel might not be at the top of the heap anymore.

That’s because demand for DRAM and NAND flash memory are both growing at double-digit rates, and Samsung in particular is raking in revenue.

Assuming that both companies perform as expected in the second quarter of 2017, Samsung’s semiconductor business could pull in $14.6 billion in revenue for the quarter, compared to $14.4 billion for Intel. Even if Samsung can’t pass Intel in the second quarter, it seems likely to happen soon, given that Samsung’s chip business is one of the brightest spots on its balance sheet—in Q1, revenue was up over 40 percent year-over-year.
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