AMD on fast track for big revenue growth while Intel risks falling behind

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • IC Insights forecasts that the semiconductor market will increase 23% this year.
  • AMD is forecast to have a revenue increase of 65%, which is the highest forecast of any company in the industry.
  • Intel is expected to have a negative revenue increase of –1%.

The global chip shortage continues, but the semiconductor market is expected to have a big year. IC Insights recently updated its 2021 forecast for semiconductor sales. The market is expected to increase 23% overall as a result of a 20% increase in semiconductor unit shipments and a 3% increase in total semiconductor average selling price (ASP). If this occurs, it will be the largest gain in the global semiconductor industry since 2010. In that year, semiconductor sales went up 34%.

It's worth noting that the 34% sales increase in 2010 followed the global recession of 2008 and 2009. The forecasted 23% growth in the industry comes after the worst of the global chip shortage affected CPU and GPU sales in 2020.

Source: IC Insights (Image credit: Source: IC Insights)

AMD leads the pack with forecasted revenue growth of 65%. MediaTek (60%), NVIDIA (54%), Qualcomm (51%), and SMIC (39%) round out the top five.

While several tech giants and the semiconductor industry as a whole are expected to increase in terms of revenue growth, IC Insights predicts Intel's revenue growth to be –1%. It's worth noting that negative revenue growth does not indicate poor gross revenue. Negative revenue growth means that a company made less revenue than the preceding year. Intel's projected revenue for 2021 is $77 billion, which is several times larger than AMD's projected revenue of $15 billion.

Sean Endicott
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at (opens in new tab).

  • A forecast developed, no doubt, without knowledge of Alder Lake. So far, Alder Lake is shaping up to be a rather disruptive break with the status quo.
  • Possibly, however industry analysts are also often privy to information before general consumers. Ultimately though it depends on Intel's yield for 12th gen CPUs and to a greater extent material supply. AMD doesn't have that issue (as well as associated costs), TSMC is responsible for the material sourcing and yield rates. In any case, Intel is a far larger company than AMD with greater portfolio flexibility. As they can spin up their own nodes. Whilst AMD has to wait on allocation from TSMC.
  • I am in no way an accountant so my question is, do these revenue number come after R&D and capital investments are taken out? We know that Intel is currently doing so major infrastructure investments outside of China and even Asia to address supply line issues. They are also heavily investing in R&D and tooling up for smaller nm chips. What does this mean for future revenue?