2001 worst year for DRAM demand in history of world… ever

Elpida exec worries about profitability

Never before has the world's demand for memory chips been as low as it will be this year.

So says senior Elpida executive Hidemori Inukai, VP and general manager of the memory maker's technical marketing division, interviewed by Japanese paper Nikkei Microdevices under the headline: 'Demand in 2001 likely to be lowest in History'.

We have to disagree. Sure, 2001 is going to be a bad year for the memory business. Heck, the semiconductor market as a whole isn't exactly having the time of its life. But 2001 the lowest in History'?

We can't accept that. Demand was much worse in 1666, and the figures for BC1245 don't bear thinking about.

Still, according to Inukai, Elpida's DRAM business won't be profitable unless demand does an about face and, during the rest of the year, increases 160 per cent over last year's figures.

Not much chance of that, we reckon, and Inukai isn't optimistic either. The average year-on-year increase in demand for DRAM is 170-175 per cent year, he said, and has never before fallen below 150 per cent. This year, however, all the signs say it will come in under 140 per cent.

Oh dear. ®