Every year, new cars become increasingly more connected and more technologically advanced. That progress has led to many new opportunities for technology companies like Samsung, which just became the world’s largest chipmaker thanks in part to growing demand from the auto industry.

The Full Story

“Samsung, in particular, seems well-poised to leverage the increased integration of digital technology and automobiles.”

One look at the automotive lineups at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is proof enough that the auto industry is in the midst of a major technological shift. Consumers now expect the very latest in gadgetry and connected features with their automobiles, and as a result, tech companies are reaping the benefits.

Samsung, in particular, seems well-poised to leverage the increased integration of digital technology and automobiles. In fact, Samsung just posted record profits, outpacing Intel for the first time in decades. Since 1992, Intel enjoyed its position as the world’s dominant chip manufacturer, but despite posting record profits of its own, Samsung is now in the lead, posting $69.1 billion in annual revenue compared to Intel’s $62.8 billion.

The shift is due in part to growing demands from the auto industry, which, like the smartphone industry, requires advanced memory chips (a Samsung specialty) to make it all work. While Intel still has a strangle hold on the PC market, Samsung’s memory chips are finding new ground.

That much is outlined in Samsung’s newest quarterly report, which points to growth when it comes to “demand for high-density memory products for cloud servers and for chipsets required for automotive electronics and AI.” It should be noted that cloud servers are used for a litany of automotive infotainment features, while AI is used for self-driving features, both of which are expected to grow considerably in the next several decades. Indeed, Samsung looks quite well-positioned for the up-and-coming technologies headed to the auto sector (and those technologies already here).

Last year, the South Korean technology giant launched a $300 million autonomous driving fund aimed at backing startups and other companies looking to innovate in the self-driving field. Meanwhile, automotive manufacturing giants like Volkswagen, Toyota, and GM are pouring millions into the race to full autonomy. If Samsung establishes itself as the leader in this space now, it could pay big dividends in the future.