Tag: winbond

Mobile memory market resists price declines

Apple iPad AirWe reported last week that DRAM for PC desktops is under clear pressure, with continuing price drops expected until the end of this year and beyond.

But the same isn’t true of mobile memory, according to market research company Trendforce.

Analysts said that this segment saw 7.7 percent growth in the second quarter, compared to the first quarter of this year, amounting to shipments worth $3.851 billion. And that won’t be the end of it because prices are expected to continue rising.

The introduction of the next generation of mobile memory, LPDDR4 has caused average selling prices to rise.

The clear leader in shipments for mobile DRAM is Samsung, which has installed the latest memory types into its premier smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge.

Samsung also managed to reduce its dependency on DRAM for PCs and that now only accounts for 20 percent of its shipments.

Trendforce believes that PC memory will fall by as much as 30 percent during the third quarter, and is relying on Apple using the latest mobile memory to keep its profit margin high.

Samsung had a 57.6 share of the market during the second quarter, way ahead of SK Hynix (23.9%), Micron (16.5%), Nanya (1.2%) and Winbond (0.7%).

Putting this into geographical terms, Korea held 81.5 percent of this sector, America – that is to say Micron 16.5 percent, while the Taiwanese vendors only held two percent market share during the period.

Mobile DRAM prices flatten

Samsung DRAMAttempts by manufacturers to put up their prices on mobile DRAM appear to have stalled.

In the first quarter, said memory watcher DRAMeXchange, mobile DRAM revenues totalled $3.576 billion which is actually a small decline compared to the same quarter last year.

But despite that, mobile DRAM now accounts for 29.8 percent of total shipments worldwide and that figure will continue to increase.

Average selling prices for mobile DRAM are stable, while shipments grew as Samsung ramped up volumes by producing chips at 23 nanometres.

DRAMeXchange anticipates that prices will stay stable for the whole of the first half of this year. While next generation iPhones will use 2GB of mobile memory, prices will fall.

While the outlook is rosy for mobile DRAM, PC memory prices have fallen.

The major memory manufacturers are Samsung, SK Hynix and US firm Micron. Other much smaller players are Taiwanese companies Nanya and Winbond with the latter having a global market share of only one percent.

DRAM revenues slumped in first quarter

SamsungSales of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) fell by 7.5 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Revenues came to $12 billion and the reason was weak contract prices plus poor sales of notebooks and smartphones because of the time of year.

According to market research company Trendforce, even though there was a decline in revenues in the first quarter, manufacturers managed to keep their margins to the same level compared to the last calendar quarter of 2014.

That’s because new processes attract higher prices, and manufacturers took advantage of the trend.

The whole DRAM market worldwide is slated to be worth $51.2 billiob for the whole of this year, and that will represent an increase of 12 percent, compared to 2014.

Korean manufacturers Samsung and SK Hynix took the lion share of the market in the first quarter, with a 43 percent and 27 percent share respectively. Micron, the only US manufacturer, had a share of 22.5 percent.

Trendforce said that Samsung is the industry leader, making chips at 20 nanometres and it’s likely this process technology will represent 60 percent of its production during the year.

Here’s how Trendforce-DRAM Exchange saw the figures for the first quarter.

DRAM sales Q1 2015

Samsung becomes Emperor of the DRAMurai

Korean chaebol Samsung owned 45 percent of the DRAM market revenues in the third quarter, a report from IHS said.

Even though its revenues fell by 8.9 percent compared to the second quarter, it still managed to outperform the rest of the DRAM industry, which is finding itself in challenging times overall. 

The third quarter is, traditionally, a buoyant period for the industry but that didn’t hold true this year.

Mike Howard, principal DRAM analyst at IHS, said that the reason Samsung continued to shine is because it has the largest capex budget, meaning it can both cut costs and introduce new products better than its competitors.

The average selling price for the whole industry fell 26 percent in the third quarter, but Samsung managed a fall of only 17 percent, on an increase of shipments of nine percent, said Howard.

But Micron, the only US DRAM manufacturer, also did well in the third quarter increasing its market share to 12.1 percent squeezing Elpida, which saw its ASP fall by 39 percent. Hynix lost market share too, while Nanya, as the table below shows, had a weak quarter. That, says Howard, is because it is highly exposed to the commodity DRAM market, suggesting an “uphill climb” in the next few quarters.

Revenue figures below are in US$ millions.
DRAM Q3 2011

Mobile DRAM worth over $2 billion in Q1

Smartphones, tablets and gaming gizmos are fuelling sales of DRAM for mobile devices, making that sector worth over $2 billion in the first quarter of this year.

That’s according to IHS, a US based market research company, which said that sales amounted to $2.07 billion – up 10 percent for the same quarter in 2010.

According to Ryan Chien, researcher for memory and storage at IHS, shipments and densities of mobile DRAM will continue to grow – as much as a factor of six between 2010 and 2015 for smartphones.

Densities will increase eightfold for handsets. But the position is even better for the manufacturers for the tablet market. Chien expects that DRAM densities for these devices will grow 14-fold in the same period.

The demand for mobile DRAM means new entrants into the vendor yard – Winbond and ProMOS are increasing production. But they will be hard pressed to topple Samsung, Hynix and Elpida – those three account for nearly 95 percent of mobile DRAM shipments. Samsung, Elpida and Hynix are followed by US company Micron, Winbond and ProMOS.

Revenues for mobile DRAM will be close to $7 billion for the calendar year 2011, while conventional DRAM expected to fall by 10 percent as companies are not in any hurry to increase densities in PCs.

mobile dram Q1 2011

Samsung takes DRAM dominance

Samsung  became the only top five DRAM supplier to achieve revenue growth in the third quarter iSuppli said.

The giant secured its place as DRAM dominator selling $4.4 billion worth of DRAM in the third quarter, up 14.3 percent from $3.8 billion in the second quarter. In contrast the next four largest suppliers all suffered sequential declines in revenue, which again boosted Samsung with the company’s share of the market in the third quarter surging to 40.7 percent. This was up from 35.4 percent in the previous quarter.

The research company said that Samsung’s double-digit growth was “all the more remarkable” given that overall DRAM market revenue in the third quarter actually declined slightly to $10.72 billion, down 0.6 percent from $10.78 billion.

“Samsung has been vocal about its desire to expand its DRAM market share to as high as 50 percent,” said Mike Howard, senior analyst for iSuppli. “The third-quarter results show Samsung has put its money where its mouth is. By investing heavily in expanding production and advancing its manufacturing technology, the company has been able to cut pricing and to eat into the market share of its competitors.”

And things are only getting better for Samsung with iSuppli saying that it expects Samsung to continue to gain share in 2011 as it presses its market-share campaign. In fact, its only problem may be how much share its largest PC OEM customers will allow it to take. There’s also the problem of how long the company can continue to cut prices and how much it can increase its dominance before government regulators raise anti-competitive concerns, Howard said.


The  DRAM industry faces a very challenging 2011. Not only do other manufacturers need to advance their manufacturing technology as aggressively as Samsung—an expensive and technically difficult task—they must also keep wafer output at current levels at the very least, iSuppli said.

As prices continue their descent, some manufacturers could also find their production costs rising above their average selling prices.

“It looks like the DRAM industry could very well be heading for consolidation, with some competitors being acquired or getting forced from the market,” Howard added.  

One DRAM player singled out by iSuppli for failing in this quarter was Micron Technology, which posted the worst performance among the Top 5 DRAM suppliers, with a  revenue of $1.1 billion, down 21.4 percent from $1.4 billion in the second quarter. While the company maintained the No. 4 market position, its share fell to 10.5 percent, down from 13.3 percent in the second quarter.

iSuppli put this down to production challenges at its Inotera facility. However, it’s not all bad news with the company predicting that Micron will not lose further market share in 2011 and might actually expand its position slightly. It said Micron’s DRAM wafer production will grow in 2011 due to the significant uptick in utilisation anticipated at Inotera.

After Samsung, the next best performance among the Top 5 DRAM suppliers was posted by fellow South Korean semiconductor supplier Hynix Semiconductor, which saw its revenue dip by just 2.9 percent to $2.25 billion, down from $2.31 billion in the second quarter.