Sales in the global dynamic random access memory (DRAM) sector in the fourth quarter of last year rose 6.9 percent from the third quarter on higher product prices, a DRAMexchange report said yesterday.
DRAMexchange, a research arm of market information advisory firm TrendForce (集邦科技), said product prices had risen in the quarter due to the increasing efforts of first-tier DRAM makers to shift to the production of more expensive specialty DRAM, while lowering commodity DRAM manufacturing.
Specialty DRAM refers to the chips largely used in mobile devices and servers, while commodity DRAM refers to the chips mainly used in PCs, which have suffered sluggish market conditions.
In addition, demand for mobile communications gadgets in China rose during the three-month period, pushing up DRAM prices sharply, DRAMexchange said.
In the fourth quarter, the price of the benchmark DDR3 2Gb DRAM on the spot market rose almost 30 percent from the third quarter. At the same time, contract prices also staged a rebound.
Fourth-quarter revenue of the global DRAM industry totaled US$6.87 billion, up from the US$6.43 billion recorded in the third quarter, the report said.
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co posted US$2.89 billion in sales for the quarter, up 9.9 percent from the third quarter, making it the world’s largest DRAM supplier with a market share of 42 percent.
SK Hynix Semiconductor Inc of South Korea came in second with US$1.72 billion in sales, up 14.9 percent from the third quarter, while its market share hit 25 percent.
Japan’s Elpida Memory Inc was ranked third with US$968 million in sales and a 14.1 percent market share, US-based Micron Technology Corp was fourth with sales of US$720 million and a 10.5 percent market share and Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) was fifth with US$241 million in sales and a 3.5 percent market share.