TSMC becomes number one in the semiconductor sector, ahead of Intel and Samsung

Written by Guillaume
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1707670803*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
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Intel slips back to second place and Samsung to third, while TSMC looks set for a bright future.

The names Intel and Samsung speak to many more people. However, when it comes to semiconductors, the American and South Korean companies are "only" number two and number three worldwide. Since this year, the top spot has been held by a player who is increasingly making a name for himself. A once discreet player whose steady rise to prominence exploded with the Covid-19 pandemic. TSMC stands for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, a company founded in 1987 in Taiwan.

Dan Nystedt

In 2013, however, TSMC didn't weigh much against Intel, and didn't even generate 50% of the revenues of what was once considered an ogre in the sector. Since 1992 and the overtaking of Japan's NEC, Intel had been the world's leading semiconductor company. But, little by little, South Korea's Samsung nibbled away at this advantage, to the point of taking over the top spot in 2017, losing it two years later and then regaining it in 2021... for a very short time. After the euphoria linked to the countless Covid-19 purchases, Samsung encounters an increasingly noticeable drop in revenues to $50.99 billion in 2023.

Dan Nystedt

Intel is experiencing a similar situation, albeit with a less marked decline over the past year and revenues estimated at $54.23 billion. However, all this pales in comparison with TSMC's success. The Taiwanese company has indeed announced lower revenues for 2023, but far less than its rivals and still around the $70 billion mark, at exactly $69.3 billion. TSMC's official top spot confirms six quarters of domination and, more importantly, a significant advantage in terms of operating profits: while Samsung is still in the red, and Intel is just coming out of it, TSMC has not experienced a single loss in recent years.

Dan Nystedt

Last but not least, TSMC stands out from its two competitors by the fact that it only produces components for third-party companies: it is a pure foundry that does not develop or design any chips in its own name, preferring to sign contracts with some of the world's most famous firms, with Apple and NVIDIA topping the list.