© Analysis | August 14, 2013

DRAM revenue increases 11% QoQ

TrendForce: global mobile DRAM revenue increases 11% QoQ in 2Q13, SK Hynix emerges as industry’s dark horse.
DRAMeXchange, a division of global market research firm TrendForce, smartphones shipments amounted to 222.7 million units in the second quarter, a 7% QoQ increase. Along with inventory stocking for the coming sales season, mobile DRAM revenue approached US$3.0 billion in the second quarter, an 11% QoQ increase and 34% of total DRAM revenue.

Looking at the mobile DRAM revenue ranking, second-place SK Hynix saw the largest revenue growth with a 30% QoQ increase as a result of strong mobile phone shipment demand in China and steady orders from top-tier makers. The Korean supplier’s market share rose from 4% the previous quarter to 25.7%. The biggest changes on the mobile memory market, however, have yet to take place. As the supply chain evolves after Micron and Elpida merge and leave three major DRAM manufacturers dominating the market, prices will stabilize and suppliers will have to focus on process technology to maintain a competitive edge.

Samsung Purchases Smartphone Components, SK Hynix Market Share to Continue Increasing

Although Samsung’s mobile DRAM market share declined slightly, the supplier remains in the lead with over 50% of the market. Previously, Samsung’s mobile division was supplied with its own mobile memory, but the manufacturer has begun purchasing mobile DRAM from SK Hynix and Elpida to ensure steady supply. While such a move may affect Samsung’s market share in the short term, as the supplier already has such a strong hold on the market, freeing up a portion of mobile DRAM capacity to allow for more flexibility in terms of product line adjustments is more of a priority.

As China’s smartphone shipments account for more of the worldwide total, SK Hynix has benefitted, with its mobile DRAM revenue climbing 31.6% QoQ, pushing its market share to 25.7%. While Samsung still has nearly twice as much of the market, the gap will close a bit in the future as the industry leader purchases mobile memory from its fellow Korean supplier.

Elpida Revenue Grows, Higher Mobile Memory Ratio for New Micron

With stronger demand and mobile DRAM from Rexchip in the second quarter, Elpida’s mobile memory revenue increased by 15.9% QoQ, with market share increasing slightly to 19.3%. Looking ahead to the third quarter, as demand continues to heat up and half of Rexchip’s 80k wafer starts per month is already producing mobile memory, in addition to rising discrete chip prices, Elpida’s mobile DRAM revenue is expected to continue increasing.

Micron’s mobile DRAM market share remains low, at 3.4% in the second quarter. Currently its 30nm LPDDR2 products are still in the client testing phase, making little contribution to revenue. However, with the acquisition of Elpida, the manufacturer is expected to release high-density eMCP products in the second half of the year. With a more complete memory product portfolio, mobile DRAM will account for more than 20% of the new Micron’s total revenue.

Taiwanese Suppliers Move on Niche Mobile Memory Market, Targeting China’s Small and Medium-Sized Smartphone Clients

Winbond’s mobile memory revenue increased by 5.6% QoQ, accounting for 13% of the manufacturer’s total revenue. Global market share reached 1%. Currently, Winbond’s mobile memory strategy is still focused on developing low to medium-density 4G/LTE baseband chips. Volume production is underway for LPDDR1 chips, while LPDDR2 is being tested by clients and is expected to enter volume production in the second half of the year, improving Winbond’s profitability.

As for Nanya, due to a low base in the first quarter, the supplier’s mobile DRAM revenue increased significantly. The supplier’s global market share increased slightly, to 0.3%. Since Nanya will no longer receive 30nm wafers from Inotera beginning in October, the manufacturer is ramping 30nm mobile DRAM production. Nanya is cooperating with module makers on eMCP products, while also targeting the discrete chip market alone, securing China’s market to meet demand changes.


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