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Hynix leads Q1 DRAM sales charge

Double-digit sequential gains

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DRAM makers Hynix and Infineon made big gains in the memory market during Q1, beating an industry average sequential growth rate of 6.6 per cent while the other key players lagged behind it.

That, at least, is what market watcher Gartner's numbers show, and who are we to argue the point? The numbers from both companies were not sufficient, however, to raise their chart rankings.

So, while Hynix saw revenues rise 11.4 per cent between Q1 2004 and Q4 2003, and Infineon's sales grew 9.6 per cent over the same period, both remain ranked at number three and four, respectively - the positions they held at the close of Q4.

Samsung remains the market leader, with Q1 sales totalling $1.59bn, up 4.3 per cent from Q4's $1.52bn. Immediately behind it came North America's Micron. It growth was a puny half a percentage point, thanks to sales up from $997m to just over $1bn.

Hynix sales shot up from $827m to $921m. Infineon's rose from $728m to $798m, allowing its rival to move ahead of it by a slightly greater distance.

Gartner puts Hynix's success down to the punitive import tariffs imposed by the US and the European Union. The levies are forcing Hynix to look to other markets, specifically China and Eastern Europe - both arenas that have seen "exceptional growth in the last few quarters", Gartner said.

Nanya was number five, selling $248m worth of memory chips, up 4.7 per cent on Q4's sales of $232m.

Overall sales totalled $5.6bn the best figure the industry has achieved since Q4 2000, when sales reached $6.2bn, Gartner said. ®

DRAM Vendors' Q1 Sales
Rank Vendor Q1 2004 sales Q4 2003 sales Growth
1 Samsung $1.58bn $1.52bn 4.3%
2 Micron $1.00bn $997m 0.5%
3 Hynix $921m $827m 11.4%
4 Infineon $798m $728m 9.6%
5 Nanya $248m $232m 4.7%
  Others $1.05bn $996m 5.4%
  Total $5.6bn $5.3bn 6.6%

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