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Samsung Posts Record 45% Share of DRAM Market

By - Source: IHS | B 12 comments

Samsung, which has dominated the DRAM manufacturing for years, held 45.0 percent of the market in the third quarter, according to IHS.

The company was able to contain the DRAM downturn much better than its rivals, even if Samsung saw its DRAM sales drop sequentially from more than $3.4 billion in Q3 2010 to $3.1 billion in Q3 2011. In Q3 of 2010, Samsung was estimated to have generated more than $4.3 billion in DRAM sales.

Hynix, in second place, faced a sequential decline of 22.6 percent from $2.2 billion to $1.5 billion, while Elpida in third was slammed with a 29.8 percent drop from $1.7 billion to $823 million.

“Samsung perennially has the DRAM industry’s largest capital expenditure budget, allowing it to reduce costs and offer advanced products more quickly than the competition,” said Mike Howard, principal analyst for DRAM and memory at IHS. “Because of this, the company was better able to absorb the decline in average selling prices in the third quarter, which fell 26 percent for the DRAM industry as a whole. "

Howard noted that “DRAM demand in the third quarter was undercut by anemic sales of PCs—which represent the primary market for the memory type. The consumer appetite for PCs has been dampened by weak economic conditions combined with competition from media tablet devices.”

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  • 0 Hide
    rangas , December 13, 2011 1:15 PM
    blame HDD factory's floods
  • 2 Hide
    ikyung , December 13, 2011 2:03 PM
    Well, even if PC sales have been down, smartphones and tablets were on fire. Even if you use Apple products, most likely its partially made from Samsung.
  • 1 Hide
    nhat11 , December 13, 2011 4:07 PM
    Ram is getting really cheap because of the HDD issues. I got 2gigs of 800MHz DDR2 for $22 on newegg
  • 3 Hide
    seezur , December 13, 2011 11:12 PM
    __-_-_-__this is pointless since 8gb dram modules don't drop price and are insanely more expensive then 4gb ones. since the number of slots is limited, you can never have much more ram for a reasonable price.


    There is a simple reason why they are more expensive. Take a look at the number of chips on a 4gb vs. a 8gb. Normally both are 16 chips which means the 8gb chips are a higher density. Making it more expensive to produce. Also most consumers (the largest market for DRAM) generally don't buy anything larger than 4gb sticks, the only market looking at 8gb sticks as a option are server builders and enthusiast. These two markets are usually willing to pay a premium for the parts they need and since they are a small section of the market less of these sticks are produced making the supply much smaller than the 4gb.

    I never understand why people complain about high end parts costing too much. You just have to accept the fact that top end parts cost top end $ and it doesn't matter how much it cost to make, it matters how much people are willing to pay.....
  • 1 Hide
    nottheking , December 14, 2011 12:31 AM
    ikyungWell, even if PC sales have been down, smartphones and tablets were on fire. Even if you use Apple products, most likely its partially made from Samsung.

    Actually, IIRC, all models of the Apple A4 and A5 use Samsung memory. (MDDR1 and MDDR2 for the two packages, respectively)

    __-_-_-__this is pointless since 8gb dram modules don't drop price and are insanely more expensive then 4gb ones. since the number of slots is limited, you can never have much more ram for a reasonable price.

    That's because the very largest RAM chip size will always be way more expensive, even on a per-byte level, than anything smaller. That's the price for being cutting edge. Currently, 4 gigabits is the largest DRAM chip size, with 16 making a single 8 Gigabyte module as seezur said. When 8 gigabit chips come out, perhaps sometime in the next year, we'll see 16 GB modules come out, and the price for 8 GB modules drop dramatically, as the cost of the now-no-longer-top chip sizes go down.

    And in all honesty, we've got plenty enough capacity: standard dual-channel desktop-grade motherboards sport 4 slots, which allows for 16 GB to be had with relatively low expense. Unless you're doing professional-level audio and/or video creation, that's overkill. And if you ARE doing professional-level work, then you'd be quite justified in spending the extra cost for 8GB modules... Or even going to a workstation/server-grade motherboard with 8 slots, letting you go even farther.

    For even gaming-heavy enthusiasts, 8GB alone might be considered overkill. So the fact that it can be acquired for $40US is amazing; that's the lowest cost for a "high-end gaming ready" RAM setup that has ever happened.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , December 14, 2011 5:37 AM
    seezurThere is a simple reason why they are more expensive. Take a look at the number of chips on a 4gb vs. a 8gb. Normally both are 16 chips which means the 8gb chips are a higher density. Making it more expensive to produce. Also most consumers (the largest market for DRAM) generally don't buy anything larger than 4gb sticks, the only market looking at 8gb sticks as a option are server builders and enthusiast. These two markets are usually willing to pay a premium for the parts they need and since they are a small section of the market less of these sticks are produced making the supply much smaller than the 4gb.I never understand why people complain about high end parts costing too much. You just have to accept the fact that top end parts cost top end $ and it doesn't matter how much it cost to make, it matters how much people are willing to pay.....


    so there isnt just twice as many chips... that said, what is stopping ram from being 2x taller and just sticking more lower density chips on it?

    notthekingActually, IIRC, all models of the Apple A4 and A5 use Samsung memory. (MDDR1 and MDDR2 for the two packages, respectively)That's because the very largest RAM chip size will always be way more expensive, even on a per-byte level, than anything smaller. That's the price for being cutting edge. Currently, 4 gigabits is the largest DRAM chip size, with 16 making a single 8 Gigabyte module as seezur said. When 8 gigabit chips come out, perhaps sometime in the next year, we'll see 16 GB modules come out, and the price for 8 GB modules drop dramatically, as the cost of the now-no-longer-top chip sizes go down.And in all honesty, we've got plenty enough capacity: standard dual-channel desktop-grade motherboards sport 4 slots, which allows for 16 GB to be had with relatively low expense. Unless you're doing professional-level audio and/or video creation, that's overkill. And if you ARE doing professional-level work, then you'd be quite justified in spending the extra cost for 8GB modules... Or even going to a workstation/server-grade motherboard with 8 slots, letting you go even farther.For even gaming-heavy enthusiasts, 8GB alone might be considered overkill. So the fact that it can be acquired for $40US is amazing; that's the lowest cost for a "high-end gaming ready" RAM setup that has ever happened.


    yea... 8gb isnt over kill unless all you do with the computer is game on it, and nothing more. even if i took games out of the question, i would still be needing 8gb, and could easily use 16gb, granted i would probably make part of the 16gb a ram drive though.
  • 0 Hide
    seezur , December 14, 2011 9:25 AM
    alidanso there isnt just twice as many chips... that said, what is stopping ram from being 2x taller and just sticking more lower density chips on it? yea... .


    Actually there have been modules in the past, before they went to a BGA chip design, that did just that. They actually stacked the chips on top of each other but they were only ECC variants so they were only used in servers.

    Technically speaking that design would work, making the PCB a bit taller and adding more chips but there is a downside. Performance, you increase latency greatly when you double the amount of chips. It might be a lot cheaper but the people trying to buy 8gb sticks care about performance.
  • 0 Hide
    nottheking , December 14, 2011 2:07 PM
    alidanso there isnt just twice as many chips... that said, what is stopping ram from being 2x taller and just sticking more lower density chips on it?

    That would require a new module design that could have physical compatability issues with many computers. (read: they might run into the space meant for things like the hard drives, etc.) Currently with the ATX standards, all the parts are (generally) designed so that no matter what you get, you can be assured that you'll have room for it all in your case. (the only real exceptions are oversized video cards, which can intrude on drive spaces)

    That, and having 32-chip modules may require a new memory controller design, which would mean it'd require an all new CPU design, as well as motherboard for it. Also, as seezur mentioned, this would increase latency, as there'd be more banks to sift through, rather than just each bank being larger.

    alidanyea... 8gb isnt over kill unless all you do with the computer is game on it, and nothing more. even if i took games out of the question, i would still be needing 8gb, and could easily use 16gb, granted i would probably make part of the 16gb a ram drive though.

    What, precisely, are you doing with your computer that requires 16 GB of RAM, that doesn't involve heavy media creation and editing? Obscene multitasking with tons of bloatware is something I GENERALLY don't count, since the kind of newbie who has 27 different toolbars installed in their version of Internet Exploder is NEVER going to get good performance, no matter how good their hardware may be.

    Given that even still, a lot of applications are not 64-bit, that limits them to at most 4GB of RAM usage at a time. This means with 8GB of RAM you've got plenty for it.
  • 0 Hide
    aglarond , December 14, 2011 8:45 PM
    notthekingGiven that even still, a lot of applications are not 64-bit, that limits them to at most 4GB of RAM usage at a time. This means with 8GB of RAM you've got plenty for it.


    32-bit applications are stuck with 2GB limit. There is a special way to allow them to use 4GB of RAM, however I don't know about even one that is actually using it. Some people are even hacking their games to allow them to use 4GB instead of 2GB. You would have to run several large 32-bit apps (or games) at the same time to use even 8GB of RAM. To have 16GB RAM is good only for file cache in Windows, if you are not using some professional video, music, or 3D rendering software.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , December 15, 2011 8:16 AM
    seezurActually there have been modules in the past, before they went to a BGA chip design, that did just that. They actually stacked the chips on top of each other but they were only ECC variants so they were only used in servers. Technically speaking that design would work, making the PCB a bit taller and adding more chips but there is a downside. Performance, you increase latency greatly when you double the amount of chips. It might be a lot cheaper but the people trying to buy 8gb sticks care about performance.


    not really, i care about keeping my programs open, the latency is nothing compared to readding off of a hdd or a ssd.

    notthekingThat would require a new module design that could have physical compatability issues with many computers. (read: they might run into the space meant for things like the hard drives, etc.) Currently with the ATX standards, all the parts are (generally) designed so that no matter what you get, you can be assured that you'll have room for it all in your case. (the only real exceptions are oversized video cards, which can intrude on drive spaces)That, and having 32-chip modules may require a new memory controller design, which would mean it'd require an all new CPU design, as well as motherboard for it. Also, as seezur mentioned, this would increase latency, as there'd be more banks to sift through, rather than just each bank being larger.What, precisely, are you doing with your computer that requires 16 GB of RAM, that doesn't involve heavy media creation and editing? Obscene multitasking with tons of bloatware is something I GENERALLY don't count, since the kind of newbie who has 27 different toolbars installed in their version of Internet Exploder is NEVER going to get good performance, no matter how good their hardware may be.Given that even still, a lot of applications are not 64-bit, that limits them to at most 4GB of RAM usage at a time. This means with 8GB of RAM you've got plenty for it.


    you can call it obscene multitasking, i dont like closeing programs, and have a backlog of things to read and i leave tabs open, chrome currently has about 60 tabs, and firefox well over 600, than there are programs that are just pure bloat, but if memory is needed, they release the ram, but than the program becomes so unresponsive that its useless. and than we get to games, most of which will only use about 1gb at most, but some can easily eat though 3gb, and if were 64bit probably more. and than we get to the ram disc portion, it would mostly be a scratch disc for programs, and would also house a small page file, as some programs dont like functioning right without one.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , December 15, 2011 8:21 AM
    notthekingThat would require a new module design that could have physical compatability issues with many computers. (read: they might run into the space meant for things like the hard drives, etc.) Currently with the ATX standards, all the parts are (generally) designed so that no matter what you get, you can be assured that you'll have room for it all in your case. (the only real exceptions are oversized video cards, which can intrude on drive spaces)That, and having 32-chip modules may require a new memory controller design, which would mean it'd require an all new CPU design, as well as motherboard for it. Also, as seezur mentioned, this would increase latency, as there'd be more banks to sift through, rather than just each bank being larger.What, precisely, are you doing with your computer that requires 16 GB of RAM, that doesn't involve heavy media creation and editing? Obscene multitasking with tons of bloatware is something I GENERALLY don't count, since the kind of newbie who has 27 different toolbars installed in their version of Internet Exploder is NEVER going to get good performance, no matter how good their hardware may be.Given that even still, a lot of applications are not 64-bit, that limits them to at most 4GB of RAM usage at a time. This means with 8GB of RAM you've got plenty for it.


    sorry, im tired and forgot to bring this up. where the memory on every pc i have encountered is located even if it was 3 times as tall as it is now, would not inter fear with anything. unless you have the most obscenely large cpu cooler possible, and even than, the way its positioned on the boards may still not interfere... that said, it may pose a problem with airflow, but o well.

    and even if my computer couldn't handle the double size ram, making it part of a standard would allow it for the future to be an option. i have to imagine that anyone with a real need for more than the the standard size ram (in this case 4gb stick) need more for space, and latency isn't the most pressing issue.
  • 0 Hide
    nottheking , December 16, 2011 12:16 AM
    aglarond32-bit applications are stuck with 2GB limit. There is a special way to allow them to use 4GB of RAM, however I don't know about even one that is actually using it.

    Actually, a 32-bit address system gives you 4GB of address space. (as 2^32 = 4,294,967,296, or exactly 4GB) Most programs are only set to handle up to 2 GB, since one thing many people don't realize is that such address space is for not just the main memory, but other segments as well. (the VRAM is a significant contributor there)