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Samsung exec sees a stable memory market

Posted: 29 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flash memory market? DRAM business? mobile memory?

"The world's flash memory market will stabilize in the upcoming quarter, although it is likely that the DRAM business would remain unstable for the time being," said Hwang Chang-Gyu, president of Samsung Electronics' Semiconductor Business. Despite worries about the direction of the global memory market, the Samsung executive believes that the flash memory sector will recover over the next few months while the entire memory market stabilizes later this year.

"It is clear that flash memory market conditions will be much better in the second half [of 2007], compensating for the sluggish business during the first half," Hwang added. "Flash memory prices appear to be going up on the whole."

As evidence, he cited flash memory orders for new applications like MP3 players, gaming devices and other digital consumer appliances. Those orders are expected to be concentrated in the latter half of this year. Hwang added that the memory demand for the consumer applications is moving from 1Gbyte to 2Gbytes.

He also asserted that the Windows Vista operating system "remains immature to be adopted" but will eventually boost the memory business.

Hwang's remarks came as memory market analysts have claimed pricing pressures persist as the main obstacle to a market recovery.

Optimism rules
Hwang estimated that growing demand for memory chips used in mobile and consumer devices would boost the sector's growth rate by an average of 7 to 9 percent annually over the next several years. "The [mobile and digital consumer device] market size is now estimated to be 10 times the PC market," Hwang added.

Samsung forecasts that its mobile memory revenue will reach $4.3 billion in 2007, up 18 percent over last year, when the corresponding revenue rose 38 percent over 2005. The company's entire semiconductor business division posted about $20.3 billion in sales revenue in 2006, up 4 percent over the previous year.

- Sean Shim
EE Times

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