TAIPEI, Taiwan Despite worries about the direction of the global memory market, the head of Samsung's semiconductor business forecast Tuesday (March 27) that the flash memory market will recover over the next few months while the entire memory market stabilizes later this year.
"The world's flash memory market will be stabilized in the upcoming quarter although it is likely that the DRAM business would remain unstable for the time being," Hwang Chang-Gyu, president of Sumsung Electronics' Semiconductor Business, said during a forum here.
"It is clear that flash memory market conditions will be much better in the second half [of 2007], compensating for the sluggish business during the first half," Hwang added. "Flash memory prices appear to be going up on the whole."
As evidence, he cited flash memory orders for new applications like MP3 players, gaming devices and other digital consumer appliances. Those orders are expected to be concentrated in the latter half of this year. Hwang added that memory demand for the consumer applications is moving from 1 to 2 Gbytes.
He also asserted that the Windows Vista operating system "remains immature to be adopted" but will eventually boost the memory business.
Hwang's remarks came as memory market analysts have claimed pricing pressures persist as the main obstacle to a market recovery. Samsung is the world's largest memory chip maker.
Hwang estimated that growing demand for memory chips used in mobile and consumer devices would boost the sector's growth rate by an average of 7 to 9 percent annually over the next several years. "The [mobile and digital consumer device] market size is now estimated to be 10 times the PC market," Hwang added.
Samsung forecasts that its mobile memory revenue will reach $4.3 billion in 2007, up 18 percent over last year, when the corresponding revenue rose 38 percent over 2005.
Samsung's entire semiconductor business division posted 19.08 trillion won (about $20.3 billion) in sales revenue in 2006, up 4 percent over the previous year.