Intel may be under siege, but that hasn't slowed the chip manufacturer's progress: Intel recorded its largest market share in 10 years in 2011, it's claimed, with patchy performance from ARM-based rivals like Samsung. The x86 company's share was 15.6-percent of the overall semiconductor market, according to IHS iSuppli, up 2.5-percent from 2010. Meanwhile Samsung, which has been nipping at Intel's heels for the past few years, ground to a halt: growth stagnated in 2011, leaving Samsung with 9.2-percent of the overall market.
That's not to say there aren't still ARM-based winners. Qualcomm grabbed the number six spot in the league with a 41.6-percent growth spurt, ending up with 3.3-percent of the market. It now sits just 0.1-percent behind Renesas Electronics Corp.
The semiconductor segment as a whole struggled somewhat, with overall growth of just 1.3-percent; a disappointing Q4 2011, with a 5.9-percent decrease in the market, did nothing to help that.
Samsung has pinned its hopes on its new Exynos range of SoCs, along with a $41.1bn investment in, among other things, chip research and development this year. Exynos is expected to include a powerful quadcore model, together with USB 3.0 support and the ability to drive high-resolution mobile displays.