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Top 10 US semiconductor companies you should know in 2024

Learn about the top US semiconductor companies. Discover the industry’s hopes for the future and the challenges to face.
Close up of an integrated circuit
Published on
July 3, 2024
Last updated on
July 3, 2024

It’s no surprise to anyone that the global semiconductor industry is constantly growing. Countless devices people use and depend on every day require semiconductors to function. The biggest semiconductor manufacturing companies have become the cornerstones of the global and domestic economy. The developments in chip design significantly impact other industries and fuel technological advancements.

Read this article to learn the basics behind semiconductor products, discover the top semiconductor companies in the US ranked by market cap, and explore trends linked to semiconductors, such as artificial intelligence (AI), chiplets, and research on sub-2nm process nodes.

Understanding semiconductor devices

Semiconductor materials (usually silicon) are essential components of virtually all modern electronic devices. Their distinct electrical properties enable them to conduct electricity under specific conditions while acting as insulators under different conditions.

This ability to regulate electrical conductivity allows manufacturers to utilize semiconductors to form single discrete devices and integrated circuits, also known as computer chips or microchips. Integrated circuits consist of various electronic components like transistors, resistors, and capacitors that are placed and connected with each other on a piece of semiconductor material.

Semiconductor devices play a critical role in modern devices, including computers, smartphones, and industrial machinery. Semiconductor companies are a cornerstone of the global economy, driving innovation and efficiency in numerous market sectors.

Leading US semiconductor companies ranked by market cap

Engineers talking at the semiconductor fabrication plant

The biggest semiconductor companies in America are at the forefront of innovation, driving advancements in technology and beyond. Below, you will find 10 companies in the sector you should know, ranked by their market capitalization (market cap data comes from the website, accessed on July 3, 2024).

1. Nvidia Corporation

Market capitalization: $3.02 Trillion (source)

Headquarters location: Santa Clara, California

Specializations: graphics processing units (GPUs), AI

Nvidia Corporation, founded in 1993, has since become an absolute colossus and today’s largest semiconductor company. While the company is famous for its graphics processing units (GPUs) for consumer electronics, it also produces professional semiconductor products used in edge-to-cloud computing, supercomputers, and workstations. Its specialized chips are also vital to the gaming, automotive, and healthcare industries, showcasing the versatility and power of the company’s technology.

In recent years, Nvidia has also become a global leader in AI research, delivering solutions for autonomous cars, drones, and generative AI. For example, ChatGPT was trained using a cluster of 10,000 Nvidia’s GPUs.

2. Broadcom Inc.

Market capitalization: $771.53 Billion (source)

Headquarters location: Palo Alto, California

Specializations: semiconductor and infrastructure software products

Broadcom Inc., with a market cap of $659.44 billion, is an acclaimed designer and developer of semiconductor and infrastructure software used in data center networking, servers and storage, smartphones and telecommunications equipment, factory automation, mainframe operations, and more. Since its foundation in 1961, Broadcom has continued to evolve and adapt to the changing market landscape. Today, the company offers enterprise software and manufactures chips, networking devices, and data storage.

With its wide offering, focus on technology leadership, and recent acquisitions, the company managed to solidify its position. In 2023, Broadcom announced and completed one of the biggest takeovers in the technology sector by buying VMware, an American cloud computing and virtualization technology company.

3. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)

Market capitalization: $265.57 Billion (source)

Headquarters location: Santa Clara, California

Specializations: computer processors, motherboard chipsets

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), founded back in 1969, is very well known for designing and producing integrated circuits (including CPUs, GPUs, and motherboard chipsets) for use in computers (PCs, workstations, and servers). In recent years, AMD has also successfully expanded to other market sectors, including software, cybersecurity, and AI, where the company’s products deliver the processing power needed to power complex Generative AI models.

AMD continues to innovate in semiconductor solutions, but in 2008, it became a fabless semiconductor manufacturer. Since then, the company has manufactured its chips at foundries belonging to other companies, including GlobalFoundries, TSMC, and Samsung.

4. Qualcomm Incorporated

Market capitalization: $223.37 Billion (source)

Headquarters location: San Diego, California

Specializations: semiconductors, software, wireless technology

Established in 1985, Qualcomm specializes in semiconductor components and develops software for wireless networking, smartphones, watches, laptops, and other devices. The company also offers services related to wireless technology. Due to its specialization in both cellular and Wi-Fi networks, Qualcomm is also a prominent player in the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart home spaces.

5. Applied Materials, Inc.

Market capitalization: $199.42 Billion (source)

Headquarters location: Santa Clara, California

Specializations: semiconductor equipment

Applied Materials, founded in 1967, is a vital component of the US semiconductor industry, supplying vital manufacturing equipment to other semiconductor companies. Employing over 34,000 people, the company plays an indispensable role in the semiconductor supply chain. Its innovations and technologies are critical for the production of semiconductor devices, ensuring the industry’s further growth and evolution.

However, Applied Materials’ contributions extend beyond manufacturing equipment. The company also offers factory automation solutions, deposition systems for LCD and OLED displays, high-performance roll-to-roll coating systems, and photovoltaics.

6. Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI)

Market capitalization: $180.65 Billion (source)

Headquarters location: Dallas, Texas

Specializations: analog chips, embedded processors

Established in 1930, Texas Instruments Incorporated still maintains its status as a leading semiconductor company. TI specializes in developing analog chips and embedded processors. However, its diversified output includes calculator, microcontroller, and multi-core processor production.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company employs around 34,000 people and is one of the top semiconductor companies in the world in terms of sales volume.

7. Micron Technology, Inc.

Market capitalization: $147.02 Billion (source)

Headquarters location: Boise, Idaho

Specializations: computer memory and data storage

Established in 1978, Micron Technology Inc. first became known for innovative developments in computer data storage and memory technologies. Today, Micron caters to a wide range of markets and industries, including products and services for industrial IoT, AI solutions, servers and data centers, mobile devices, consumer electronics, network infrastructure, and more.

With a workforce of 43,000 employees, Micron continues to drive innovation in memory chips and the semiconductor industry as a whole.

8. Lam Research Corporation

Market capitalization: $140.26 Billion (source)

Headquarters location: Fremont, California

Specializations: wafer-fabrication equipment

Founded in 1980, Lam Research became a leading supplier of equipment essential for the entire semiconductor industry. Its products include equipment used in plasma etch, photoresist strips, thin film deposition, and wafer cleaning processes. With circa 17,200 employees, the company is the third largest manufacturer in the Bay Area.

9. Intel Corporation

Market capitalization: $132.26 Billion (source)

Headquarters location: Santa Clara, California

Specializations: computer components and chip manufacturing

Founded in 1968, Intel is a household name in the semiconductor industry. Widely considered one of the world’s biggest semiconductor manufacturers by revenue, the company is regularly ranked in the Fortune 500 list. High-end Intel CPUs are among the fastest CPUs in consumer electronics, but its products are also widely used in cloud infrastructure. It also manufactures chipsets, graphics processing units (GPUs), and other devices, such as network interface controllers and flash memory.

A whopping 131,000 Intel employees work in 65 different countries as the company continues to expand and develop other technologies, including AI, data science, and software engineering.

10. KLA Corporation

Market capitalization: $112.97 Billion (source)

Headquarters location: Milpitas, California

Specializations: process control and yield management systems

KLA Corporation is an American company established in 1997. Today, it employs circa 15,000 employees who produce process control and yield management systems used in the semiconductor, wafer, reticle, and other similar industries.

Top semiconductor trends to follow and challenges to keep in mind

GPUs are semiconductor devices commonly used in AI solutions and cryptocurrency mining

The impact of the CHIPS and Science Act on semiconductor companies

In 2022, the US federal government implemented the CHIPS and Science Act, which facilitated new funding for semiconductor companies identified as critical components of future economic growth and technological progress.

The act has significantly boosted the domestic research and manufacturing of semiconductors by authorizing around $280 billion in investments in the sector, including $39 billion in subsidies for chip manufacturing companies located in the USA and $174 billion in public sector science and technology research. As a result, US semiconductor companies have strengthened their market positions, new high-quality jobs have been created, and exciting manufacturing projects have been launched.

The implementation of the Act resulted in a surge of investments and positive developments for the entire industry, including the introduction of advanced manufacturing investment credit and the creation of approximately 56,000 new jobs. These developments not only strengthened the domestic semiconductors sector but also positioned the US as a leader in the global market.

American companies reap substantial benefits from the Act. For example, Intel plans to use the funds to grow its chip manufacturing capabilities by investing in fabs (fabrication facilities) in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Ohio.

However, despite the federal program’s positive impact on the chip manufacturing sector, it didn’t resolve all challenges. Among the issues cited most frequently by top semiconductor companies are workforce shortages and supply chain disruptions.

The development of AI solutions causes growth in demand

According to Statista, the semiconductors market revenue is expected to reach $607.40 billion in 2024 and $980.80 billion by 2029. The projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 10% is largely driven by recent advancements in artificial intelligence technologies that have resulted in increased demand for semiconductor devices.

Generative AI, in particular, is boosting the overall need for semiconductor chips, as it requires vast amounts of computer memory and processing power to work efficiently. It also has a significant impact on the direction in which high-performance chip design evolves.

The emergence of chiplets enables high-performance computing

A chiplet is a small integrated circuit that performs a specific function and can be easily connected to other chiplets that perform other functions. Mixing and matching various components allows users to build chiplet sets that satisfy their exact needs.

Such modular chip design offers several benefits when compared to a traditional, monolithic system on chips (SoCs), including reusability (the same chiplet can be utilized to build many devices), optimized performance (as each chiplet is designed for a specific function), and reduced cost of manufacturing.

Even though Professor John Wawrzynek from the University of California, Berkeley, coined the term in 2006, interest in chiplets considerably grew in the 2020s. Today, chiplets are already being manufactured and utilized by many top chip manufacturing companies, including NVidia, Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm in the US, as well as Samsung (a large technology company based in South Korea) and TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited).

Next-generation semiconductors are on the way

In December 2023, the state of New York announced partnering with IBM, Micron, and other semiconductor companies to invest $10 billion in building a new research and development facility, High NA EUV Center, at the Albany NanoTech Complex. The facility is called after a high-numerical aperture extreme ultraviolet lithography (High NA EUV) system, which is a machine equipped with lasers beyond the ultraviolet end of the light spectrum. 

The Center is poised to drive innovation in chip technology for the years to come, as it is focused on developing and ultimately producing chips with sub-2nm process nodes (nodes even smaller than 2 nanometers).

Such partnerships are essential in ensuring the continued success of the domestic semiconductor industry as the global competitive landscape constantly evolves. Also in December, TSMC, one of the world’s top semiconductor companies, announced its plans to expand a manufacturing site in Taichung (Taiwan) and equip it with machines capable of upgrading its chip design to 2-nanometer within the next two years. A year before, in October, Samsung Electronics announced the company’s plan to introduce the 2nm process to mass production in 2025 and follow with the 1.4nm process in 2027.

Moreover, according to the report on the CHIPS Act originally published by the Congressional Research Service in April 2023, China’s state-led effort to achieve global leadership in chip design and semiconductors production by 2030 is backed by substantial government investments (approximately $150 billion, with an additional $145 billion under consideration).

Semiconductor supply chain disruptions

The US semiconductor industry and other industries that use chips in their manufacturing processes depend on global supply chains. Most of the global silicon production (almost three-quarters) is concentrated in China, with Russia, Brazil, and Norway being other important producers of this metal required for semiconductor manufacturing. 

Furthermore, semiconductor fabrication plants are mostly concentrated in East Asia (in locations like Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea, and Malaysia). Overseas production may easily become a pain point for many industries whenever an international disruption occurs (for example, a trade dispute, military conflict, or pandemic).

Two years after the implementation of the CHIPS Act mentioned above, the US semiconductor companies should be better equipped to handle such disruptions, but there’s still a lot to be done in that regard.

Prevailing shortage in specialized workforce

Despite billions of dollars in investments, the talent gap remains one of the most pressing issues the US semiconductor industry faces today. Finding all needed chip design engineers, research and development specialists, and technicians to work in fabs remains a challenge for every semiconductor company in the USA.

Fortunately, American companies can reach tens of thousands of potential employees with relevant experience and expertise if they reach for global talent pools. Maxima Consulting is an experienced provider of talent services for companies in the semiconductor industry and a reliable workforce solutions partner to companies in many challenging industries. Send us a message to discuss how to tap into the international semiconductor workforce effectively.

The future of semiconductors is bright

The US semiconductor industry thrives, driven by significant investments, innovative technologies, and strategic government support. Leading companies like Nvidia, Intel, AMD, Broadcom, Micron Technology, and Applied Materials continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible.

However, the chip manufacturing sector still faces significant challenges, with workforce shortages and supply chain disruptions being the most important ones. Despite these issues, American companies are well-positioned to lead the global semiconductor market and drive technological advancements that will undoubtedly shape our world in the future.

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