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Hynix, Infineon winners as Q2 DRAM sales slide

Rising megabit shipments, tumbling prices

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Hynix once again became the world's second most successful memory maker during Q2, pushing Micron into third place on market watcher iSuppli's chart.

But it was a tough period for almost all the bigger DRAMurai, as the top eight companies recorded sequential drops in revenues of up to 24 per cent, according to the researcher's preliminary figures.

Samsung remains the world's biggest supplier of memory chips, with a 30.6 per cent share of the market. But its calendar Q2 sales were down 14 per cent on Q1's total, to $1.75bn.

Hynix's sales were down by a similar amount (13 per cent), falling from $1.08bn in Q1 to $939m in Q2. During Q2 it took 16.4 per cent of the market. Its gain was Micron's loss - the US company accounted for 14.7 per cent of the market after Q1 sales of $1.10bn fell 24 per cent to $840m in Q2. Hynix and Micron have exchanged second and third places on the top ten table every consecutive quarter since the beginning of 2004.

Infineon, in fourth place, followed by Elpida, Nanya, Powerchip and ProMos, all saw their sales fall sequentially. Of the top-ten memory makers, only ninth-place Winbond and ten-place ISSI achieved sequential revenue growth, of 26 per cent and 76 per cent, respectively. That pushed Winbond one place up the table, and took ISSI into the top ten for the first time.

Infineon was the best performer of the big-name DRAMurai, suffering only a two per cent sequential decline in sales, as did Nanya.

Overall, memory chip producers sold $5.72bn worth of products in Q2, down 13 per cent on the $6.57bn worth they sold in Q1, iSuppli said. This despite a 15 per cent increase in the total memory capacity of all those products - look to a 25 per cent decline in average selling prices for the reason, the researcher said. Only Samsung, Hynix and Powerchip were able to profit from DRAM sales during Q2.

Prices began to recover last month. Will that be enough to reverse Micron's decline and allow it to regain the number two slot? Only Q3's final figures will say. ®

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