TSMC Emerges as Top Semiconductor Maker, Outpacing Intel and Samsung

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    For a time TSMC has been recognized as the leading contract chip manufacturer globally. However, in terms of earnings it has consistently fallen behind industry giants, like Intel and major memory manufacturers.

    Nevertheless, the semiconductor landscape has seen changes over the years. In 2023, TSMC’s revenue surpassed that of Intel and Samsung, making it a turning point for the company. This information comes from Dan Nystedt, an analyst based in Taiwan who emphasizes TSMC’s leading position not in terms of revenue but operating profit.


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    Nystedt’s analysis considers all sources of revenue within each company throughout the calendar year rather than focusing solely on income generated from silicon manufacturing. As per his observations, TSMC can now claim the title of being the chip semiconductor company. Despite facing challenges throughout the year TSMC managed to achieve a revenue of $69.3 billion in 2023. On the other hand, Intel’s revenue declined to $54.23 billion.

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    Samsung earned $50.99 billion. According to Nystedt estimates Nvidia might surpass both Intel and Samsung with revenues exceeding $58 billion by the end of 2023; however, TSMC continues to maintain its leading position. This rise, to prominence marks a shift for TSMC as it used to trail behind Intel and Samsung despite being recognized as the foundry globally.

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    Starting in 2020, the company experienced an increase in revenue. This growth can be attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which created a demand for products like PCs and gaming consoles. It is important to note that TSMC’s expanding market presence is reflected in its revenue growth, despite the costs associated with production nodes. Additionally, TSMC’s leadership in process technologies enables them to charge premium prices for their services, further boosting their revenue streams.

    While Intel has held a position in the semiconductor industry for years, Samsung heavily relies on 3D NAND and DRAM memory prices for its revenue. In contrast, Intel’s revenue primarily came from products such as CPUs used in client and data center applications. Furthermore, with an increasing number of Intel products now being manufactured by TSMC or internally produced, the competitive landscape has become more intense.

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    TSMC’s main focus is, on producing chips for companies like AMD, Apple, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and many others. This strategy has been incredibly successful at least, for now. Looking ahead, the question remains whether Intel can mount a resurgence and reclaim the crown, particularly as its Intel Foundry Services division vies for market share by leveraging cutting-edge process technology.

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