Hynix rises to second place in DRAM market

Samsung held onto its title as the world's largest producer of DRAM memory chips in 2006 with 28 percent market share.

Samsung Electronics Co. held onto its title as the world's largest producer of DRAM (dynamic RAM) memory chips in 2006 despite a late charge by Hynix Semiconductor, according to a study released Thursday.

Hynix leapfrogged Qimonda, jumping into second place by posting a 31 percent increase in DRAM bit shipments from the third to fourth quarter, while the market as a whole grew by only 14 percent in that time, according to iSuppli Corp.

In 2006, Samsung claimed DRAM revenues of US$9.5 billion, 28 percent of the entire US$33.9 billion market, iSuppli said. Hynix followed with 16.6 percent market share, leading Qimonda's 15.9 percent, Micron's 11 percent and Elpida's 10.4 percent. All other producers were in single digits.

Hardware vendors use DRAM semiconductor memory in a vast range of products, including PCs, printers, hard disk drives, mobile phones, digital cameras, televisions and game consoles. Although demand will keep growing, iSuppli says slumping prices in 2007 will take the wind out of those sails, pushing revenue down despite rising sales.

The vendors are more optimistic. Qimonda predicts that demand could rise in 2007 because of Microsoft's launch of its new Windows Vista OS, as well as other communication and consumer applications, according to the company's Jan. 23 earnings report. Likewise, Samsung predicts that a strong consumer electronics market will push demand for DRAM used in 2.5G and 3G (third-generation) handsets and in game consoles.

DRAM vendors also hope to continue momentum by relying on technology advances, planning to shrink their chip architecture from 90 nanometers to 80nm and below in the short term, and to upgrade from current DDR2 design to DDR3 in coming years.

Despite its dominant position, Samsung suffered in December as one of its executives agreed to serve jail time and pay a large fine as the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into price-fixing practices in the industry. The plea was the fifth from a Samsung executive, and marked the 18th person from four vendors indicted since December 2003. The other companies charged were Hynix, Elpida and Infineon (which has since spun off its DRAM division as Qimonda).

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ben Ames

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?