The Korea Herald


Samsung beats TSMC in advanced smartphone chipset foundry market

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : July 17, 2022 - 14:23

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A pedestrian walks past an advertisement of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S22 series smartphones in Seocho-gu, Seoul, on July 7. (Yonhap) A pedestrian walks past an advertisement of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S22 series smartphones in Seocho-gu, Seoul, on July 7. (Yonhap)
Samsung Electronics’ contract-based chip manufacturing operations have surpassed Taiwan-based foundry rival TSMC in terms of smartphone chipset shipments on advanced nodes in the first quarter, data showed Sunday.

Samsung captured some 60 percent of market share in the leading nodes of 5-nanometer or more sophisticated manufacturing process for chipsets going to smartphones from application processors to system-on-chips in the first quarter, according to data by market intelligence Counterpoint Research. TSMC took the remaining 40 percent of market share.

The latest achievement was in stark contrast with Samsung’s standing a year prior. During the first quarter of 2021, Samsung had only 8.6 percent of the market share, far behind TSMC with 91.4 percent.

The upsurge was driven by the foundry service demand for smartphones by the South Korean tech giant’s mobile division, which shipped 74 million units -- the world’s largest -- in the first quarter, returning it to pre-pandemic levels.

Samsung, maker of the Galaxy phone series, had its mid- and high-end phones adopt chipsets with 5-nanometer nodes or more advanced ones. Counterpoint recognizes the revenue of Samsung’s foundry service for internal logic chip business in its estimate.

The Samsung chip foundry division’s 4-nanometer chip shipments rose with US logic chip designer Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 for the high-end Galaxy S22 series smartphones, according to Counterpoint. Notably, Qualcomm’s mobile chipsets were mounted on 3 out of 4 Samsung Galaxy S22 phones during the first quarter.

The report also highlighted that the 5-nanometer chipset Exynos 1280, a chip designed internally by Samsung for midtier phones like the Galaxy A53 and A33 series, also contributed to Samsung’s first-quarter lead.

TSMC, on the other hand, kicked off mass production of 4-nanometer nodes with Taiwan-based MediaTek’s Dimensity 9000 system-on-chips in the first quarter. According to Counterpoint, TSMC will see its 4-nanometer node-based smartphone chipset shipments grow with more orders from Qualcomm.

In the overall smartphone chipset foundry market, Samsung captured 30 percent of market share during the same period, following TSMC with a 70 percent share. When it comes to the entire semiconductor foundry, Samsung, with a 15 percent share, followed TSMC’s 54 percent majority.