Intel is the strongest it has ever been

Beancounters working for Gartner say that Chipzilla has its highest-ever market share of all time.

By adding up the numbers and dividing by its collective shoe size, Gartner said that the outfit had a record 16.9 percent of worldwide semiconductor sales.

The best that Intel ever managed was in the heady days of 1998 when it held 16.3 percent.

It is also Chipzilla’s 20th year as the king of the global semiconductor market, which is a pretty long time at the top.

It all seems odd that Intel told the world and its dog last week that it was going to lose a billion dollars due to the disrupted hard drive and PC supply chain spurred from the Thailand floods.

Intel’s Jon Carvill told CRN that much of the company’s growth this year could be attributed to its PC unit. This will seem odd as most analysts insist that no one is buying PCs now that Steve Jobs has brought the game changing tablet into the world.

Intel’s competition is Samsung which has 9.7 percent of the semiconductor market share, with its revenue growth rising slightly above the industry average. Ironically Samsung is doing so well because it makes the A5 processor being used to power Apple iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 tablet.

Texas Instruments is the next with a four percent market share, while Toshiba followed on Samsung’s heels with 3.9 percent.

Gartner said that worldwide semiconductor revenue as a whole grew 0.9 percent from 2010, reaching $302 billion in 2011.

Stephan Ohr, semiconductor research director at Gartner said that the Industry did well in the early part of the year, in many cases thanks to the backlog from a good 2010.

He said that uncertainty about the state of the macroeconomy set in at the midpoint of the year and consumers stopped buying. Governments stopped buying as they got themselves into debt. Equipment inventories began to build as the year progressed, with resulting ripples throughout the semiconductor industry, Ohr added.