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Samsung topples Intel, becomes world’s largest chipmaker
February 4, 2018, 10:37 pm

Intel’s 25-year stand on the top podium as the world’s biggest seller of chipsets ended last week when Samsung announced its end of year financials for 2017.

The Korean tech giant’s chipset division — which has long been its biggest earner — grossed total revenue of $69 billion in 2017, eclipsing the $62.8 billion Intel reported for last year. And, keep in mind, 2017 was a record year for Intel, marking a boost of six percent on revenues from a year earlier. The writing was on the wall early last year when Samsung beat Intel on a quarterly basis, but now it has held out for an annual win.

The change of position highlights Samsung’s focus on mobile, and in particular memory chips which are an essential part of smartphones. Intel’s chips may be in 90 percent of the world’s computers, but it missed the mobile boom and is playing catch-up.

Overall, Samsung’s entire business reported full-year profit of $50.7 billion on revenue of $225 billion. For the final quarter of 2017, revenue was $62 billion with $14 billion in operating profit.

That was a higher profit but slightly lower revenue than the previous quarter. The company’s mobile business actually saw its take-home drop by 3.2 percent year-on-year during Q4.

Looking ahead to 2018, Samsung said it intends to increase its chipset focus on cloud services, AI and automotive. On the smartphone front, where its name is best known among consumers, the company said it plans to adopt ‘cutting-edge technologies’ like foldable displays. Samsung also said that it would continue to develop its smart services with a focus on its Bixby assistant and upcoming 5G technologies.

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