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According to Semico Research recently released report, the biggest winner thus far in DRAM market this year is Infineon.

The report claims that Infineon has solidified its market position through aggressive management of its 300mm production costs and a focus on high-end PC2700/PC3200 (DDR333/400) memory. The company has clearly broken away and is comfortably in the third position. Semico expects that a strong second half of the year could move Infineon even closer to Micron in terms of market share. Despite poor earnings results reported last month, Micron continues to push forward and retain just over 21% of the market revenues. Micron has been able to take advantage of the continued need for SDRAM in the market to retain a comfortable number 2 position.

Matthew Godfrey, DRAM analyst at Semico Research, also observed that despite Samsung’s slightly lower market 1H03 market share ranking, the Korean DRAM maker should top out at more than 36% share by end of year. “We believe Samsung is uniquely positioned to support the surge in demand for PC2700/PC3200 (DDR333/400) expected in 2H03 and will take share from less able competitor”, he said


A recent study also shows that Hynix still rounding out the top 4, but faltering under the weight of US and European tariffs. This has led the company to increase its business in Asia Pacific, most notably in China. Despite losing more than 2% market share in the first half of 2003, Hynix is still firmly positioned as the Number 4 DRAM maker with 10.5% market share.

While Semico does not expect any dramatic shift in positioning this year, the company keeps an eye on Elpida. A recent infusion of over $700 million by Intel and other anonymous investors is definitely going to have an impact. Provided Elpida can couple its highly respected engineering capabilities with desperately needed capacity, the top 4 will definitely have a contender on their hands, Godfrey said.

Most gains made by the leaders thus far have been carved out by successful inventory management and execution on PC2700/PC3200 (DDR333/400) production. Both of these memory speeds currently command a premium over PC2100 (DDR266) at $0.20 for PC2700 (DDR333) and $1.10 for PC3200 (DDR400). This has resulted in healthier ASPs early in 2003 and memory inventory levels decreasing to 1-2 weeks at the DRAM vendors. “However, Semico expects to see the premium for these parts to decrease with stronger demand in 2H03. The DRAM vendors have more than enough capacity to meet the forecasted demand in 2003,” according to Godfrey.

The following table will give you information about market shares and revenues of leading DRAM companies, forecasted by Semico. Note that three top companies hold over two thirds of the market.

Forecasted 2003 DRAM Vendor Revenues and Market Share Rankings 1H 2003

Vendor

Year-to-Date

2002 Market Share

2003 Market Share

Samsung

$2.051 billion

31.7%

29.1%

Micron

$1.493 billion

18.5%

21.2%

Infineon

$1.302 billion

12.9%

18.5%

Hynix

$1.080 billion

12.7%

15.3%

Nanya

$345.2 million

5.3%

4.9%

Elpida

$248.4 million

5.1%

3.5%

Winbond

$180.4 million

1.6%

2.6%

ProMOS

$157.6 million

2.2%

2.2%

Powerchip

$150.5 million

1.7%

2.1%

Others

$48.0 million

8.3%

0.6%

Total

$7.056 billion

100%

100%

 DRAM Market Forecast for entire 2003 is $17.372 billion.

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