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No respite for DRAM manufacturers in 2009, says iSuppli

09 February 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Fab Management

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No respite for DRAM manufacturers in 2009, says iSuppliIt was hoped that the potential demise of Qimonda AG, the consolidation of a number of Taiwanese producers, and more rational behaviour from the major two producers in Korea would all see a recovery in the DRAM market in 2009. However, this may not be the case if the latest forecast from iSuppli Corp proves to be correct.

Nam Hyung Kim, chief analyst for iSuppli, noted in a new report that he has reduced the 2009 DRAM revenue forecast 15% to US$20 billion, compared with 2008 figures of US$23.6 billion. That may not sound so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that iSuppli had forecasted revenue of US$25 billion for 2008.

With DRAM production costs higher than selling prices for the majority of last year, Kim estimates that DRAM manufacturers lost a total of US$7 billion with operating profit margin falling to negative 65%.

As DRAM producers continue to struggle, fold and reduce output, Kim still expects DRAM per-megabyte ASP will see a further 31% decline, requiring a major demand swing to have any real impact, something that is not expected.

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