There has been a lot of media coverage surrounding the current global chip shortage, but that hasn't stopped the world's largest semiconductor companies from having a blockbuster year in 2021.

According to Gartner research, global semiconductor revenue grew 26,3% year over year to $595.000 billion in 2021, led by Samsung and Intel.

“The events driving the current chip shortage continue to affect original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) around the world, but the rise of 5G smartphones and the combination of strong demand and higher logistics/commodity prices have raised the average selling prices (ASP) of semiconductors. , contributing to significant revenue growth in 2021,” said Andrew Norwood of Gartner.


It may be surprising that the shortage has had only a small impact on overall revenue, but Gartner says the auto and industrial markets have seen a resurgence after their pandemic lows, boosting overall demand.

The auto industry, in particular, had an outstanding year, growing 34.9% and outperforming all other industries. Wireless communications, essential for smartphones, grew by 24,6%.

The number of 5G smartphones produced reached 556 million in 2021, up from 251 million in 2020, as the iPhone 13, Samsung Galaxy S22 and other devices drive demand.

Memory, led by DRAM, accounted for 27,9% of semiconductor sales for the year, generating €41,300 billion in revenue.

Samsung and Intel in the lead

In terms of the performance of individual companies, the semiconductor market was dominated by two familiar names: Samsung and Intel.

Samsung generated a staggering €73,1 billion in revenue in 2021 from sales of semiconductors and related products, up 28% from €57 billion in 2020, for a 12,3% market share.

Intel was hot on its heels, posting revenue of $72.500 billion, down 0,3% from 72.800's $2020 billion, for a 12,2% market share. The two traded first and second place.

It is followed by SK Hynix with 36.000 million dollars, 40,6% more than the previous year, with a participation of 6,1%; Micron with 28,6%, 31,4% more year-on-year, for a market share of 4,8%; Qualcomm with 27.000 million dollars, 53,4% ​​more year-on-year, for a participation of 4,6%; Broadcom with €18,7 billion, up 19,3% year-on-year, for a 3,2% share.

Texas Instruments (€17 billion), Nvidia (€16.8 billion) and AMD (€16.3 billion) complete the list, all with a share of around 3%.

Gartner noted that perhaps the most incredible reversal of fortunes was Huawei's HiSilicon, whose sales fell 81% from $8200 billion to $1500 billion as a direct result of US sanctions.

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