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Taiwan moves up in Q3 DRAM rankings

Posted: 09 Nov 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:taiwan? dram? memory? gartner? elpida?

The overall DRAM rankings were relatively unchanged in the third quarter of 2005, although Taiwan's providers were the big winners in the period, according to Gartner Dataquest Inc.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. remained the largest DRAM maker in the quarter, followed in order by Hynix, Micron, Infineon, Elpida, Nanya, Powerchip, ProMos, ISSI, and Etron, according to the market research firm.

Overall, the third quarter of 2005 saw DRAM revenues increase by 11.5 percent quarter-over-quarter to $6.470 billion. Industry revenue in the first nine months of the year was $18.9 billion, down 1.9 percent from the same period last year.

Gartner Dataquest's is currently forecasting DRAM-based semiconductor revenues to decline of 2.3 percent to $25.7 billion in 2005.

South Korea's Samsung maintained its dominance of the market, but it lost some share as the company focused production on NAND flash, said Andrew Norwood, an analyst with Gartner Dataquest.

Korea's Hynix Semiconductor Inc. kept hold of the number two slot with 16.6 percent share. "Hynix and Micron have been battling over second place in the DRAM market for two years now," said Norwood, "but Micron is now attacking Hynix on a second frontNAND flash."

The problem for both vendors is how to allocate production resources. Increasing NAND flash production will weaken the companies' ability to fight the DRAM market share battle, he said.

Germany's Infineon Technologies AG, with its current 13.5 percent share, has recovered slightly from recent production difficulties, but this is still some way short of its strong performance back in 3Q03 when it held 16.7 percent market share. Japan's Elpida Memory Inc. again saw above-average revenue growth, increasing its market share to 7.2 percent.

Three Taiwan DRAM makersNanya Technologies Inc., Powerchip Semiconductor Inc., and ProMos Technologies Inc.separately saw the fastest growth in the third quarter, said Norwood.

"Nanya was the star performer with its revenues leaping 37 percent," said Norwood, adding the strong performance was due to increasing production from Inotera Memories, its joint-venture fab with Infineon. Nanya now has 6.5 percent market share.

Powerchip saw the next best performance with revenue increasing 20.0 percent, taking its share of the market to 4.2 percent. Third strongest performance was from ProMos with a 15.8 percent increase in revenue.

Norwood points out that Taiwanese vendors control 15.4 percent of the DRAM market in 3Q05, up from 14.0 percent in 2Q05 "but this strong performance is still below the previous record of 17.0 percent archived in 2Q04" Norwood adds.

- Mark LaPedus

EE Times

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