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Memory chip makers to see biggest declines

Posted: 03 Dec 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:semiconductor market  memory chip  revenue declines  IC business 

Six of the top 10 semiconductor companies are expected to suffer revenue declines in 2008, with the broader industry hamstrung by a "disastrous" year for the memory chip sector, according to iSuppli Corp.'s preliminary rankings of the top 20 chip suppliers for the year.

Of the six companies that are expected to see revenue declines, three are not focused on memory: Texas Instruments Inc., Renesas Technology Corp. and Sony Corp., according to market research firm iSuppli. The other top 10 suppliers expected to endure revenue declines are Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc., the firm said.

"Global semiconductor revenue is expected to decline by 2 per cent in 2008 due to a 16.9 per cent plunge in sales of memory integrated circuits (ICs)," said Dale Ford, iSuppli's senior vice president of market intelligence services, in a statement.

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Only two of the 29 memory suppliers with expected 2008 revenue of Rs.500.36 crore ($100 million) or more will see memory IC revenue growth in 2008, according to Ford. "For the memory IC business, 2008 can only be described as disastrous," he said.

If memory revenue was excluded from the total semiconductor market, the remaining chip industry would grow by 2 per cent in 2008, according to iSuppli's preliminary estimate. Memory will account for 17.9 per cent of global semiconductor revenue in 2008, according to the firm.

"In the face of increasingly negative economic news, orders for semiconductors have virtually stopped, leading to great fear and uncertainty throughout the entire semiconductor industry," Ford said.

This year will mark the second consecutive annual revenue contraction in global memory revenue, following a 3.9 per cent decline in 2007, iSuppli said. Every memory segment will decline in 2008: DRAM is expected to decline by 19.8 per cent, NOR flash by 16.2 per cent, SRAM by 16.1 per cent and NAND flash by 13.1 per cent, iSuppli said. This will be the first time in the history of the NAND market that revenue will decline on an annual basis, iSuppli said.

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