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Samsung becomes top semiconductor company, beating Intel

Samsung becomes top semiconductor company, beating Intel

Posted January. 06, 2018 07:35,   

Updated January. 06, 2018 08:11


Intel tries to cool down the growing controversy over chip security flaws, but nothing seems working to put off the fire. In the meantime, Samsung Electronics has claimed the top spot in the global semiconductor market, beating Intel for the first time in 24 years.

According to Intel’s press release on Thursday (local time), the company said, “Intel is introducing security patches and upgrades to protect the system from Meltdown and Spectre flaws.” “As much as 90 percent of computers released in the last five years will have patches and updates available by the end of next week,” Intel said. Intel is taking a step backward from its claim made on Wednesday, saying, “The report that Intel products only have this type of flaw is false.”

Amid Intel’s efforts to get away with the ongoing chip scandal, major IT giants, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, have all reported that Intel’s chip could affect security of their products, fueling the controversy. It has been reported that Apple and Microsoft are developing updates for their operating systems against security holes.

With reports about Intel’s acknowledgement about the severity of the security flaw at least several months ago, Intel’s ethical responsibility is also complained. For example, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold off majority of the company stock at 25 million U.S. dollars in November, and this news is just making the controversy worse. Intel’s stock price dropped 3.4 percent on Wednesday and 1.8 percent on Thursday.

Amid the ongoing controversy, Intel was caught up by Samsung in the semiconductor market and has receded to the second spot for the first time since 1992. Global market research firm Gartner spelled out a preliminary research result that Samsung is taking over the top spot.

Gartner also said that Samsung could lose the top spot in the global semiconductor market soon. This year, Chinese rivals’ plant expansion is expected to weaken prices of memory chips, which is Samsung’s flagship product, while Broadcom is attempting to purchase Qualcomm, hinting at the possibility of market restructuring taking place.

Ji-Hyun Kim jhk85@donga.com