A report from IC Insights (via Looking for Alpha) brings some important figures to what many of us have been waiting for: it’s been a good start to the year for the semiconductor industry. The top 15 revenue semiconductor companies saw a 21% increase in sales in the first months of the year compared to the same period last year.
Intel had the highest revenue of $ 18.7 million, although its sales fell 4% compared to the previous year. Samsung (which makes Nvidia's Ampere GPUs) rose 15% to $ 17.1 million, while TSMC (maker of AMD's Zen 3 CPU and RDNA 2 GPUs) rose 25% to $ 12.9 million of dollars.
Nvidia ranks eighth with revenue of $ 4.6 million and a 51% increase over the same period in 2020. Meanwhile, AMD rises to 11th place with $ 3.4 million in profits and an improvement in revenue. 93% over the previous year. AMD and Nvidia are companies without fables and therefore rely on other semiconductor companies to produce their silicon, unlike Intel which designs and manufactures its own chips.
The report notes that Intel is the only company in the top 15 that has not seen an increase compared to last year. And if you exclude them, the remaining 14 companies recorded a combined sales improvement of 29%. This is an 8% difference if you include Intel in the figures.
It’s worth noting that Intel has had some issues recently, specifically in reaching its 10 nm production process, but also because AMD now offers a genuine alternative to our gaming computers. Intel does have a new one Pat Gelsinger, CEO instead, who is looking to turn things around with the promise of a contract casting business and seems to be back on track with his 10nm production process as well.
None of this should affect the hardware that makes it our machines in the short term, but a healthy semiconductor industry should match a larger investment, which hopefully means we won’t see the scarcity as we are now. Fingers crossed.