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DRAM market defied seasonal decline in first quarter says iSuppli

10 May 2010 | By Mark Osborne | News > Fab Management

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Worldwide DRAM revenue in the first quarter of 2010 came close to US$9.5 billion, up 9.7% from US$8.7 billion from the fourth quarter of 2009, and up a meteoric 181.6% from US$3.4 billion in the first quarter of 2009, according to new figures from iSuppli Corp. Notably, this is in defiance of normal double-digit seasonal declines. First quarter prices actually rose by 2.9% on a sequential basis.

“Both DRAM shipments and Average Selling Prices (ASPs) surged in the first quarter due to stronger-than-anticipated demand for PCs and tight supplies,” said Mike Howard, senior analyst, DRAM, for iSuppli. “It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that the combination of larger shipments and higher prices results in rising revenue for the DRAM market. This strong performance bodes well for continued growth in 2010, possibly paving the way for the industry’s greatest year in history.”

According to the market research firm, DRAM revenue in the first quarter exceeded the US$7.9 billion total for the entire first half of 2009. Only two quarters during the past 11 years achieved higher revenue than the first quarter of 2010: the fourth quarter of 2006 at US$10.7 billion, and the first quarter of 2007 at US$9.7 billion.

 The strong market situation is expected to continue, iSuppli said. DRAM ASP has maintained its momentum in the second quarter and much of DRAM is actually on allocation.

“The first quarter of 2010 has positioned the industry for a bull run, the likes of which haven’t been seen more than a decade,” Howard said. “The question is no longer if 2010 will be a great year for DRAM—but rather if 2010 will be the greatest year for DRAM.”

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