Samsung Elec and SK Hynix benefit most in super cycle in memory chips: data

2017.12.07 15:21:37 | 2017.12.07 16:24:52

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South Korea’s chip powerhouses Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc. have further cemented their dominance in the global memory market with their chips responsible for powering seven out of 10 memory in PCs and five out of 10 in every memory on mobile devices.

According to the global IT market data provider IHS Markit on Thursday, Samsung Electronics maintained a comfortable lead in the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) market whose revenue jumped 35 percent on quarter to a historic high of $19.77 billion in the third quarter ended September.

The world’s biggest chipmaker which has been making record profits this year accounted for 44.5 percent of the third quarter revenue in DRAM by benefiting most from the spike in the prices of the volatile chips due to tight supply. SK Hynix kept to the world’s second DRAM rank with 27.9 percent.

Their combined share moved up to 72.3 percent from 71.8 percent a quarter earlier.

U.S. Micron Technology Inc. came next with 22.9 percent, followed by Taiwan-based fabs Nanya Technology Corp. 2.2 percent and Winbond Electronics Corp. 0.8 percent.

The non-volatile (NAND) flash market has expanded by 20.6 percent on quarter to $14.17 billion as demand soared in tune with the spread of mobile devices and smart applications.

Samsung Electronics’ share in the NAND flash market added 0.8 percentage point from the previous quarter to an all-time high of 39.0 percent. Toshiba made up 16.8 percent, Western Digital 15.1 percent, Micron Technology 11.3 percent and SK Hynix 10.5 percent.

SK Hynix has joined a consortium that would buy out Toshiba’s NAND business.

Although it is generally believed that the super cycle in memory chips - strong demand coupled with tight supply - that enriched chipmakers this year will peter out soon or later, many are still buoyant on the industry - especially the Korean Inc which has unrivalled edge in chipmaking capacity and technology - due to new demand for memory essential to power automated vehicles, artificial intelligence applications, big-data and cloud-based service.

By Hwang Hyung-gyu and Lee Ha-yeon

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