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Samsung stays on top of DRAM makers rankings

Posted: 31 Jul 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DRAM suppliers? DDR2? wafer fab?

Despite Hynix's aggressive market share gain, Samsung remains on top of the DRAM makers Q2 rankings with 27.2 percent market share against Hynix's 20.9 percent. This is according to a report from DRAMeXchange, which also predicted that DRAM supply bit growth will surpass 90 percent in fiscal year 2007.

An ASP slash of over 40 percent in DDR2 512Mbit in Q2 resulted in a 24.4 percent q-on-q sales decline among global branded DRAM makers in the quarter. However, the sales dip did not discourage most DRAM makers' expansion plans. Many chipmakers are still following their capex plans, persistently expanding their 12-inch wafer capacity and migrating to 70nm design, as evident in the 23 percent q-on-q supply bit growth in Q2 2007.

When yields for 70nm matures, DRAMeXchange projects that 12-inch wafer capacity expansion, coupled with the penetration of 1Gbit DDR2, will post the global DRAM industry with an y-on-y supply bit growth of over 90 percent.

Sales breakdown by region shows that South Korean chipmakers still led in terms of DRAM sales, with their contribution to global DRAM sales growing to 48.2 percent. Taiwan players ranked as second but their proportion slipped from 16.4 percent in Q1 to 13.7 percent in Q2. DRAMeXchange blamed the decline on output slow down as well as over-centralized production to commodity DRAM.

The sales downturn among companies highlights the intense competition between Samsung and Hynix. Samsung continues growing the amount of DRAM wafer starts and boosting to over 50 percent the sub-80nm production proportion to overall commodity DRAM production. The strategy resulted to a q-on-q bit growth of as high as 31 percent. The number-one DRAM maker also grew its niche memory products proportion to about 50 percent of total memory output, giving a q-on-q ASP drop of 33 percent and DRAM sales drop of 12.8 percent.

Hynix, on the other hand, reached 21 percent q-on-q bit growth in Q2. ASP was reduced by 43 percent q-on-q, while sales slipped by 30 percent as more memory production was assigned for commodity DRAM. Qimonda, Elpida and Micron round up the top 5 at the third, fourth and fifth placers, respectively.

DRAMeXchange also noted that most DRAM makers have their q-on-q DRAM supply bit growth at over 20 percent in Q2. Since they mostly focused on commodity DRAM production, the price plummet as seen in the previous quarter whittled down their influences. Additionally, with more Taiwan DRAM makers having fresh 12-inch wafer capacity onboard in 2H 2007, and more chips to be fabricated at 70nm, the global DRAM market is expected to see a fundamental structure change, DRAMeXchange said.

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