El Segundo (CA) - Samsung rapidly gains market share in the lucrative Flash memory market. According to figures released by semiconductor market research firm iSuppli, the company increased its sales by more than 77 percent in 2004. Samsung now holds more than 25 percent of the worldwide Flash market.
The South Korean company is well on its path to gain market share in various semiconductor markets. According to iSuppli, the strategy already paid off in Flash sales in 2004. Samsung's sales climbed by 77.1 percent from $2.3 billion in 2003 to $3.99 billion last year. The result clearly outstrips the growth of the overall Flash market, which increased by "just" 36.4 percent to $15.9 billion.
More significantly, Samsung's market share grew from 19.4 percent to 25.1 percent in the same timeframe. It is the first manufacturer for two years to control more than one fourth of the worldwide Flash market. According to iSuppli, Intel held 25.9 percent of the category in 2002.
A majority of the remaining top-10 players of the Flash memory market were able to post solid growth, however most lost market share to Samsung. AMD's Spansion unit, second largest Flash company, dropped by 0.6 percentage points. Toshiba kept its third place but gave up 0.9 points, Intel remained somewhat stable by losing 0.1 point. The winners of the year include ST Microelectronics, which increased its market share by one point, Silicon Storage Technology (plus 0.3), Macronix (plus 0.2) and Hynix (plus 1.2).
Samsungs lead is a result of its dominance in the NAND Flash, which is used mainly in data-storage applications like removable memory cards and digital still cameras. The company holds 55.7 percent of this market (2003: 50.3 percent). The next largest manufacturer in this segment is Toshiba with a share of 29.2 percent.
AMD maintained its lead in NOR Flash that is used primarily for code-storage applications like PC BIOSes and mobile phones. The company posted a 25.2 share for 2004, followed by Intel with 23.9 percent.