The Top 3 Largest Semiconductor Chip Producers Worldwide

The World’s Top 3 Chip Giants: An Updated Analysis

Who are the 3 global chip giants with the largest market share? The latest research by Counterpoint reveals the answer based on revenues from the first quarter of 2024.

Asian Dominance

Unsurprisingly, the top positions are all held by Asian companies.
However, a notable new entry has emerged in the ranking: Chinese company SMIC is now the world’s third-largest semiconductor manufacturer.
This development is particularly significant in the context of the rivalry between Washington and Beijing in the critical sector of chips.

The Top 3 Chip Manufacturers Worldwide

According to Counterpoint Research, the largest Chinese chip producer, SMIC, now ranks third in terms of revenue in the first quarter.

SMIC, or Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co., backed by the state, held a market share of 6% in the first quarter, up from 5% the previous year, surpassing GlobalFoundries and Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Corporation.

The updated ranking with data from the first quarter of 2024 is as follows:

  • TSMC (Taiwan): 62% global market share
  • Samsung Foundry (South Korea): 13% global market share
  • SMIC (China): 6% global market share
  • UMC (Taiwan): 6% global market share
  • Global Foundry (USA): 5% global market share
  • Hua Hong Semiconductor Limited (China): 2% global market share

“SMIC’s quarterly results have exceeded market expectations, securing the third position for the first time in revenue market share of foundries in the first quarter of 2024, as demand recovery begins in China…,” according to the Counterpoint Research report released on Wednesday.

SMIC’s Impact and Market Reach

SMIC’s chips are used in cars, smartphones, computers, IoT technologies, and more.
The company reported first-quarter revenues of $1.75 billion, a 19.7% increase from the previous year, as customers stocked up on chips.
Over 80% of its quarterly revenue came from China.

According to technology consultancy firm Omdia, China consumes nearly 50% of the world’s semiconductors, making it the largest consumer market for consumer devices.

US-China Semiconductor War

SMIC is crucial for Beijing’s efforts to reduce reliance on foreign technology in the domestic semiconductor industry, as the US continues to curb China’s technological power.
To boost domestic production, China has allocated billions of yuan in subsidies to its chip manufacturers.

In this context, SMIC has been the target of US sanctions since 2020, requiring American companies to obtain a license before selling to SMIC, limiting its ability to acquire certain US technologies.

Furthermore, the Chinese giant has been unable to access extreme ultraviolet lithography machines, which only the Dutch company ASML produces.
Without EUV machines, SMIC cannot mass-produce high-tech semiconductors at lower costs.

The Semiconductor Challenge

In the semiconductor challenge, the frontrunners to beat remain TSMC and Samsung Electronics.
Both companies commenced mass production of 7-nanometer chips in 2018 and currently produce 3-nanometer chips.
The smaller the nanometer size, the more advanced and efficient the semiconductor.

Author: Hermes A.I.

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