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Hynix regains No. 2 ranking as DRAM supplier, says iSuppli

Posted: 04 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:dram? hynix? micron technology?

The fiercely contested horse race in the DRAM market resembled a trot during the second quarter as Hynix Semiconductor Inc. edged Micron Technology Inc. for second place behind Samsung as all three saw sales decline, according to iSuppli Corp.

According to iSuppli, South Korea-based Hynix reported DRAM revenue of $939 million in the second quarter, down 13 percent from $1.08 billion in the first quarter. This translates to a 16.4 percent market share, down from 16.5 percent in the first quarter.

Fortunately for Hynix, Micron saw sales decline 23.6 percent, from $1.1 billion to $840 million. This translates to a market share of 14.7 percent, down from 16.8 percent in the first quarter.

According to iSuppli, both companies have swapped places as the second-ranked DRAM supplier for the sixth time in the past 18 months.

It was a tough quarter all around for DRAM suppliers, with iSuppli noting that tepid demand kept DRAM pricing on the decline. Overall, second-quarter DRAM revenue fell 13 percent to $5.7 billion from $6.6 billion in the first quarter. Even industry leader Samsung saw a double-digit revenue decline of 14 percent, the firm said.

Although global shipments of DRAM megabytes increased sequentially by 15 percent the second quarter, the increase was wiped out by a 25 percent decline in average selling prices, said iSuppli.

According to iSuppli, Hynix's rise up the ranks was notable because the company has converted a significant portion of its DRAM manufacturing capacity to NAND flash memory production. Hynix benefited from a faster-than-expected ramp up of production at its new M-10 300mm wafer production line, said iSuppli.

Full DRAM rankings based on preliminary data for the second quarter. (Click to view full table)

iSuppli analyst Nam Hyung Kim expects the second-place battle between Hynix and Micron to continue.

"To maintain its market share, Hynix is focusing more on DRAM production this quarter, so it is decelerating its shift to NAND-flash manufacturing," Kim said. "Micron also is expected to increase its DRAM shipments aggressively in the third quarter," he added.

Kim, along with other industry analysts and suppliers, believe a recent leveling of DRAM prices will help suppliers, with some companies likely to sell inventoried parts at higher prices.

- Spencer Chin
EE Times

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