Nvidia is set to overtake Intel and Samsung and become the top-ranked semiconductor company in 2023, according to analysis firm Semiconductor Intelligence.
Semiconductor Intelligence (SC-IQ) estimates Nvidia’s total 2023 revenue will be about US$52.9 billion, ahead of Intel on US$51.6 billion and Samsung on US$45.4 billion.
Intel has been the top semiconductor company for most of the last twenty years – before losing the top spot to Samsung in 2017, 2018 and 2021. Weak memory sales pushed Samsung back down in 2020, 2022 and it is ranked in third spot in 2023.
However, Nvidia’s rise on the back of data center demand for GPU chips that can perform AI inferencing and training has been the most spectacular since the rise of Intel itself on the back of the microprocessor revolution. Nvidia’s 2023 revenue will be almost double its revenue in 2022.
The relative stability of the top semiconductor companies can be seen by comparing the 2023 top ten with 1984. Although some names have changed due to mergers the percentage shares of the top ranked companies are much the same.
One major change since the 1980s has been the rise of the foundry-fabless business model.
In 1984 all the top chip companies had their own wafer fabs. In 2023, three of top ten – Nvidia, Broadcom and Qualcomm – were founded as fabless companies. AMD became fabless in 2008 by spinning off its wafer fabs to what is now GlobalFoundries. Intel, TI, Infineon, and STMicroelectronics all use outside foundries to provide some of their semiconductor manufacturing. The rise of fabless companies was enabled by the founding of foundry TSMC in 1987, which currently has over 50 percent of the foundry chipmaking market.