Intel Corp.'s (INTC) share of the 2011 semiconductor market rose to at least a 10-year high of 15.6% thanks in part to demand for its personal-computer-oriented microprocessors, according to IHS iSuppli.
The market-research firm said Intel's overall semiconductor market share rose 2.5 percentage points from 13.1% in 2010, topping the 14.9% in 2001. IHS said Intel's share of the market has ranged from 11.9% to 13.9% over the last five years.
The chip giant reported in January its fourth-quarter earnings rose a stronger-than-expected 5.7% as strength in its personal-computer business contributed to a 21% revenue increase. Intel is considered a bellwether for the broader industry because its chips run more than 80% of the world's PCs. The company is also pushing the adoption of ultrabooks--fast, lightweight laptop computers--in an effort to keep its PC client business humming.
Dale Ford, head of electronics and semiconductor research for IHS, said Intel's "strong rise helped it to stave off the rising challenge mounted by No. 2 semiconductor supplier Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNHY, 005930.SE), which had been whittling away at Intel's lead in recent years."
Samsung's market share was unchanged at 9.2%. Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) rounded out the top three with a market share of 4.5%.
After a modest rise of roughly 1.3% last year, IHS iSuppli has projected global semiconductor sales to increase 3.3% to $312.8 billion in 2012.
-By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283; firstname.lastname@example.org