【三星半导体市场龙头地位或将让位英特尔】

【三星半导体市场龙头地位或将让位英特尔】据中国台湾媒体报道,市场研究公司Gartner称,由于2018年存储芯片DRAM市场的繁荣,韩国三星电子公司作为全球第一大半导体供应商的地位得到增强,但是在2019年,这家存储芯片巨头这一龙头老大地位可能将要跌至第二位次。

Gartner: Samsung Will Lose the Semiconductor Throne

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 Intel led the semiconductor market for more than 20 years before Samsung dethroned it in 2017. But soon enough it will be Samsung's turn to cede its seat atop the market, according to a recent Gartner report, which said the company's lead over Intel is tenuous.

Gartner said global semiconductor revenue grew 12.5 percent between 2017 and 2018 to reach $474.6 billion. That might seem like good news--and it's certainly better than declining revenues--but the semiconductor market grew 21.9 percent the previous year. Why such a drastic fall? Because of a much larger drop in memory growth. That market grew 61.8 percent between 2016 and 2017; it grew just 24.9 percent from 2017 to 2018.

This falloff in memory growth hardly comes as a surprise. Researchers have banged the drum of downturns in the DRAM market since early 2018. DRAMeXchange said in March that prices were falling the fastest they had since 2011. IHS Markit said the DRAM market would decline 22 percent year-over-year in 2019. Memory companies have had to reduce production in an attempt to stabilize their prices and mitigate oversupply problems.

That's all bad news for Samsung. The company issued an unprecedented earnings warning in March after declining smartphone and memory demand made it miss expectations. Samsung continues to invest in new memory technologies, along with the factories needed to make them, but that seems more like a bet that the memory market will rebound long-term than an attempt to stop the bleeding in the short term.

“Samsung’s lead is literally built on sand, in the form of memory silicon, and those shifting sands in 2019 will almost certainly lead to Samsung losing its [number] 1 semiconductor crown to Intel in 2019,” Gartner research vice president Andrew Norwood said in the report. He added that 88 percent of Samsung's revenues come from the DRAM market, so a decline in that market is a massive setback.

Intel has its own challenges. Its ongoing processor shortage has had a ripple effect throughout much of the computing industry, and manufacturers have started to turn to AMD for some of their CPU needs. Yet, IC Insights also predicted in March that a 1 percent increase to its memory revenue would be enough for it to reclaim the throne from Samsung, which the firm expected to see a 20 percent or more decline in its memory revenue.

 Credit: IntelIntel no longer discloses multi-core turbo frequencies, which outline how fast a chip goes when a varying number of cores are active, for its desktop processors. But the company continues to provide the information publicly for its Xeon processors, as evidenced by its release of a document outlining the second-gen Xeon Scalable processors (PDF), aka Cascade Lake.

Intel lists the base and single-core turbo frequencies for desktop chips, but the company's refusal to share its multi-core turbo specifications is confusing. Intel has focused on improving these metrics as it contends with AMD's Ryzen processors, leading to solid performance gains, so it would make sense to tout those advantages. Instead, you have to buy a desktop processor to determine its multi-core frequencies, which is a simple task you can accomplish via Intel's own publicly-released XTU software.

There are a few possible reasons behind Intel's decision to stop disclosing these specifications for its desktop chips. As with all of Intel's Turbo Boost frequencies, the company doesn't guarantee consistent operation at the heightened clock speeds, largely because the boost performance is contingent upon several factors, like processor temperature, current, and power delivery.

Intel has turned up the power on its 14nm chips to stave off AMD, which equates to more heat, yet the company often provides sub-par stock cooling solutions that often can't keep the chips cool enough to maintain peak turbo speeds. That obviously might pose a problem if the company lists multi-core turbo frequencies that the chips can't sustain with the bundled stock coolers, but Intel also doesn't disclose multi-core turbo speeds for its desktop processors that come without a bundled cooing solution.

In either case, Intel's practice of hiding these specifications is akin to selling a car without disclosing a critical specification, like gas mileage. The enterprise market apparently isn't as receptive to those tactics, so Intel released these critical Xeon multi-core turbo specifications to the chip-buying public. The chip maker hasn't revealed why it stopped the practice for its desktop chips yet continues to provide those specifications for its Xeon data center processors.

Intel's documentation also confirms that it has developed new U-series Xeon SKUs to tackle AMD in the single-socket server space, and also unsurprisingly confirms the company is still fabbing Xeon chips with three different die.

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-xeon-cascade-lake-turbo-frequencies,39069.html


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