Samsung Electronics is expected to beat Intel in semiconductor sales in the third quarter, maintaining its No. 1 position. SK Hynix’s sales are also expected to grow by 10 percent.

Market research firm IC Insights estimated Samsung Electronics' semiconductor sales in the third quarter at US$22.32 billion, up more than 10 percent from the previous quarter.

On the other hand, second-ranked Intel is expected to see its sales fall by 3 percent, reaching only US$18.77 billion. Intel is the only company expected to post a drop in sales among the top 15 companies in sales.

IC Insights predicted that demand for memory semiconductors will be solid in the third quarter. It expects sales of the world's top three memory suppliers -- Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, and Micron Technology -- to increase 10 percent. SK Hynix and Micron are expected to rank fourth and fifth with US$10,135 million and US$8,465 million, respectively.

IC Insights predicted that sales of Qualcomm and Apple, both application processor (AP) suppliers for smartphones, will increase by 12 percent and 13 percent, respectively, compared to the previous quarter. Apple is expected to stand 13th in terms of sales, but its growth rate is expected to be the highest among the top 15.

TSMC, the world's largest foundry company, is also expected to maintain its third place with 11 percent increase in sales. IC Insights said TSMC's sales will expand by 4 percent in the fourth quarter and by 14 percent in the second half from the first half of the year, showing an annual sales growth rate of more than 20 percent.