Fri, Aug 10, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Flash memory chip prices surge after Samsung outage


Flash-memory prices rose as much as 25 percent, the largest in four months, after a power outage disrupted production at Samsung Electronics Co this month, said DrameXchange (集邦科技), Asia's largest market for memory chips.

The average gain in contract prices for the chip, used in a wide range of products such as Apple Inc's iPod, was the biggest increase since the first half of April, Wayne Chen (陳有裕), a DrameXchange analyst in Taipei, said yesterday.

Prices of the chip rose 15 percent to 25 percent during the first half of this month, compared with the second half of last year, DrameXchange, which updates its survey of NAND flash contract prices twice a month, said in an e-mailed statement.

Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung, the world's biggest maker of NAND flash, last Friday shut down six production lines for a day, cutting global flash output by 2.2 percent, Chen said.

Samsung raised the price of its 8-gigabit NAND chip to US$9.50 from US$8, Digitimes reported yesterday, citing unidentified customers in Taiwan.

Chae Su-yeon, a spokeswoman for Samsung, declined to confirm or deny the report.

The power outage probably reduced Samsung's monthly production of NAND flash by 5.5 percent, DrameXchange said.

Samsung's stock rose 3.2 percent to close at 621,000 won (US$672), while shares of Hynix Semiconductor Inc, the third-largest maker of NAND, gained 2.8 percent to 38,700 won in Seoul. Shares of Japan's Toshiba Corp, the second-largest producer, rose 2.3 percent in Tokyo.

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