SAN FRANCISCOAfter three straight years of declines, the DRAM business is set to grow 40 percent in 2010, reaching $31.9 billion, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.
"This year will build on the momentum built up in the fourth quarter of 2009, when overall industry revenue increased by 40 percent sequentially," said Mike Howard, senior analyst for DRAM at iSuppli (El Segundo, Calif.), in a statement. Howard credited increased bit shipments and higher average selling prices for the growth.
The fourth quarter of 2009 represented the best period for DRAM suppliers in recent memory, with the industry posting revenue of more than $8 billion for the first time since the first quarter of 2007, according to iSuppli.
Japan's Elpida Memory Inc. paced DRAM supplier growth in the fourth quarter of 2009, increasing revenue by 64 percent to $1.7 billion in the period, according to iSuppli. Micron Technology Inc. saw its DRAM revenue swell by 50 percent compared to the third quarter, while South Korean suppliers Hyninx Semiconductor Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. increased DRAM revenues by 42 and 25 percent, in the fourth quarter, iSuppli said.
|Preliminary annual DRAM revenue in millions of U.S. dollars. (Source: iSuppli Corp.)|
The global DRAM market declined by 3.7 percent in 2009, 25.1 percent in 2008 and 7.5 percent in 2007, according to iSuppli.
Analysts are projecting that supplies of all chip memories will be tight in 2010 and perhaps beyond due to a rebound in demand, a dearth of in capital expansion in recent years and extended lead times for lithography tools from top supplier ASML Holding NV.
ISuppli recently predicted that brisk sales of Apple Inc.'s memory-intensive iPhone would generate insatiable demand for NAND ?ash in 2010, straining supplies for the year.