TSMC's foundry dominance unshaken in Q1 2024, Samsung slowly climbs

Samsung Foundry and TSMC have long been the world’s top two biggest semiconductor foundries. However, when we look at the numbers, the gap between the duo is huge. The latter has always had a massive lead over the former and it was no different this past quarter. TSMC maintained its supremacy in the foundry market in Q1 2024, even as Samsung managed to increase its share.

TSMC held a lion’s share in the foundry market in Q1 2024

Market research firm Counterpoint recently published its report for the global foundry industry’s Q1 2024 revenue share. According to the firm, the market grew 12% year-on-year (YoY) in Q1 2024. However, various factors led to a revenue decline from the previous quarter, i.e., Q4 2023. The market was impacted by seasonal effects as well as “a slower recovery in demand for non-AI semiconductors.”

As expected, TSMC continues to hold a lion’s share in the market. The Taiwanese firm reportedly exceeded market expectations, capturing 62% of the global revenue share. Samsung followed it distantly with a share of 13%. Its market share increased two percentage points from 11% in Q1 2023. TSMC’s share in the first quarter of last year was 61%. In the subsequent three quarters, its share fluctuated from 58% to 59% to 61%.

During the same period, Samsung’s share was 12%, 13%, and 14%, respectively. Despite a slight YoY growth, the Koran firm remains way behind its arch-rival in the global market. The gap is so big that it doesn’t fit right to call TSMC Samsung’s arch-rival. Instead, we should keep an eye on SMIC. The Chinese company leapfrogged UMC and Global Foundries to the third spot in Q1 2024, capturing 6% of the market.

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UMC also had a 6% market share, while Global Foundries had a 5% share. These two companies were affected by a slowdown in consumer and smartphone industry demand. With a market share of 2%, Chinese firm Huahong Group was the sixth biggest semiconductor foundry this past quarter. As usual, the industry didn’t see any major fluctuation in the market share of its top players.

TSMC expects strong performance in the coming years

TSMC may remain unchallenged in the foundry market for years to come. The company has reportedly raised its forecast for revenue from data center AI solutions. It expects its revenue from these chips to more than double this year. With this growth, the Taiwanese firm anticipates a 50% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) in AI revenue through 2028. This indicates a “sustained and robust momentum in AI demand.”

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