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Semico Research, a well-known market tracking agency, revealed preliminary results of its 2003 memory market investigation. According to the company, the market for dynamic random access memory grew nearly 8% a year and the largest memory makers now control 81% – more than three fourths – of the whole market.

Worldwide DRAM Market Share Rankins 2004, preliminary results from Semico

2003 Rank

Company

2003 Market Share

2002 Market Share

2003 Revenue

2002 Revenue

Y-o-Y change

1

Samsung

28.6%

30.8%

$4.704 billion 

$4.840 billion

-2.8%

2

Micron

17.2%

17.2%

$3.129 billion

$2.825 billion

+10.8%

3

Infineon

17.2%

12.2%

$2.822 billion

$1.975 billion

+42.9%

4

Hynix

15.9%

13.0%

$2.610 billion

$1.975 billion

+34.4%

5

Nanya

4.9%

4.8%

$810 million

$808 million

+0.3%

6

ProMOS

4.4%

n/a

$725 million

$531 million

+36.7%

7

Elpida

3.5%

6.4%

$577 million

$780 million

-26.1%

8

PowerChip

2.6%

n/a

$427 million

$253 million

+68.6%

9

Winbond

2.2%

n/a

$357 million

$240 million

+48.8%

10

Oki

1.1%

n/a

$182 million

$157 million

+15.9%

 

Others

0.6%

n/a

$106 million

$903 million

-88.2%

 

Total

100%

100%

$16.451 billion

$15.254 billion

+7.8%

The most successful memory maker in 2003 has been Infineon Technology, who managed to seriously boost its market share and return to profitability. The company now holds 17.2% of the market, up 5% from 2002 result.

“Infineon continues to solidify its market position through aggressive management of its 12-inch production costs, a focus on high-end DDR333/400 memory and a delicate balance in its production mix of DRAM types,” said Matthew Godfrey, Semico’s DRAM analyst.

The No.1 memory maker of all times, Samsung Electronics, had its market share plummeted a bit, though, according to Semico quoted by SiliconStrategies, there is nothing to worry about.

“The company has been shifting some of its DRAM production lines for the manufacturing of Flash memories. So, while Samsung lost some market share in DRAM, the company has increased revenues and profitability in the flash memory market,” Semico Research notes.

Share of the second largest memory company Micron Technology did not change this year – the firm solidly commands 17.2% of the market.

Hynix Semiconductor, the troubled company who is forced to pay special tariffs on its memory made in Korea sold in the EU and the USA, has in fact managed to increase its presence in the market by 2.9%.

Semico believes that Hynix remains in the top four largely due to success in the Asia Pacific region. Hynix’s growth in this market is helping offset the countervailing duties imposed in the US and Europe during the year. Hynix remains strong in China and Japan, Semico thinks.

Another big high-climber of the year is ProMOS, who controls 4.4% of the DRAM market nowadays. A not that successful company is Elpida Memory, who gained investments, but has lost nearly half of its market share during the 2003.

“While Elpida has declined almost 26% for the year, the company has been focused on improving its position in 2004. The company has been busy working on DDR-II products and is leveraging its packaging expertise for increased revenues next year,” said Semico analyst.

According to Semico, the 2004 will be strong for memory makers because of DDR-II introduction and mass 1Gb memory chips adoptions. However, the market must keep a wary eye on the anticipated increase in production that will occur in 2005 as all of the 300mm facilities that are currently being constructed come online.

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