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Samsung and Micron gain most market share in DRAM crisis

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

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Samsung and Micron gain most market share in DRAM crisisAccording to new market share figures from Gartner, both Samsung Electronics and Micron Technology have gained the most share in the DRAM market in the fourth quarter of 2008, as rivals struggle to preserve cash by cutting production. Samsung held a 29.5% market share in 3Q08 but saw this increase to 31.1% in the 4Q08, Gartner said. Micron saw its share increase from 8.8% in 3Q08 to 11.0% in 4Q08, due to strong bit growth. Micron also moved into fourth place in Gartner’s DRAM company rankings. Hynix also grew market share in the quarter, going from 18.9% in 3Q08 to 19.3% in 4Q08, retaining its second place ranking.

The major victims in the quarter, according to Gartner were Taiwanese producers, which are more dependent on the spot market for revenue. Powerchip Semiconductor (PSC) experienced the largest decline due to significant production cuts to preserve cash. PSC saw its market share decline to 1.7% in 4Q08, compared to 3.7% share in 3Q08, a 71.2% change, according to Gartner.

Nanya Technology’s share declined to 3.8% in 4Q08 and ProMOS Technologies share declined to 2.6%.

Qimonda’s market share declined to 9.6% in 4Q08, down from 10.1% in the previous quarter. However, the recent closure of its 300mm fab in Richmond, Virginia and the reduction in capacity in Dresden, Germany are expected to significantly impact its market share and rankings position for future quarters, should the company successfully navigate bankruptcy proceedings.

Should the troubles in the DRAM market need reminding, Gartner noted that overall market revenue was down 38.1% quarter over quarter and down 34.1% compared with the same period last year. The market research firm noted that worst sequential decline of 38.6% was last seen in 3Q01.

Total DRAM revenue was down 23.5% to $24.4 billion, according to Gartner’s preliminary finding. Annual bit growth was 62%. The key metric, underlying the continued overcapacity in the DRAM market was the ASP decline of 52.8% in 2008, compared to a 50.3% decline in 2007.

With DRAM prices firmly below manufacturing costs, Gartner estimates that DRAM losses among the major vendors totalled US$2.8 billion in the fourth quarter. The losses have now reached US$13 billion since losses started in early 2007.


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