In February, the company had issued figures showing that Apple was the biggest buyer of semiconductor chips last year, with 11.9% of the global market.
“Memory, GPUs and 5G chipsets led semiconductor growth, driven by hyperscale, PC, ultra-mobile and 5G handset end-market demand, while automotive and industrial electronics suffered due to lower spending or a pause in spending owing to COVID-19,” said Andrew Norwood, research vice-president at Gartner.
The company's figures showed that Intel was the top revenue earner, followed by Samsung Electronics, SK hynix and Micron. Intel's revenue increased by 7.4% due to increased sales from its core client and server CPU businesses.
MediaTek's revenue increased by 38.1% during 2020, a rise that Gartner attributed to the issues that Huawei faced right through the year.
Memory was the second-best performing device category, accounting for 26.7% of sales and showing a 13.5% increase in revenue. “Memory benefitted from the key trend in 2020 — the shift to home working and learning — which fuelled increased server build from hyperscale vendors to satisfy online working and entertainment, as well as a surge in PCs and ultra-mobiles,” said Norwood.
Within the memory segment, NAND flash was the standout performer with 25.2% more revenue, following a shortage in the first half of the year.
“In 2021 both NAND flash and DRAM will be in shortage, sending pricing higher though the year and revenues rocketing by around 25%” said Norwood. “This sets memory-focused Samsung up with a good chance of recapturing the top spot in the semiconductor market from Intel in 2021.”