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Surprise DRAM maker moves up rankings

June 18, 2010 // Mark LaPedus

In the first quarter of 2010, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. together owned more than 50 percent of the fast-expanding DRAM market, according to the rankings from iSuppli Corp.

The big surprise in the rankings: Taiwan's Powerchip Semiconductor Corp. At one time, Powerchip was on the ropes. But amid the upturn, the company's revenue has increased nearly 60 percent during each of the last three quarters. This caused the company’s ranking to rise from sixth place in the fourth quarter of 2009 and from ninth in the first quarter of 2009, according to iSuppli.

Powerchip in the first quarter sold $432 million worth of DRAM, up 80.8 percent from $239 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, and an increase of 1,068 percent from $37 million a year earlier in the first quarter of 2009, according to the firm.

In total, DRAM revenue rose by 8.8 percent in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter, and by 178.1 percent from a year earlier.

With 33 percent share, Samsung remained No. 1 position in the market. The company’s DRAM revenue in the first quarter of 2010 amounted to $3.07 billion, up 10.0 percent from $2.79 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009, and up 169.3 percent from year-ago revenue of $1.14 billion, according to iSuppli.

In second place was Hynix, with revenue for the same period reaching $2.05 billion, up 8.5 percent from $1.89 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009. The company’s revenue for the first quarter of 2010 also reflects a 188.7 percent leap from a mere $716 million during the same time a year ago in 2009, according to the firm.

The rest of the Top 5 included Japanese-based Elpida Memory Inc., with a 17 percent market share; Micron Technology of the United States, with a 15 percent share; and Powerchip Semiconductor, with a 5 percent market share, according to the firm.

Taiwan's Nanya fell to No. 6 in the first quarter of 2010 and had roughly 4 percent market share.

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