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2008 a ''forgettable'' year for memory

Microscope contributor

Research house and market intelligence consultancy iSuppli is reflecting on a “forgettable” year after revealing sobering preliminary market-share figures for the semiconductor industry.

Despite steep declines in sales at six of the 10 largest semiconductor suppliers, such as Texas Instruments and Sony, iSuppli market intelligence services senior vice president Dale Ford said that a 16.9% plunge in sales of memory integrated circuits (ICs) was instrumental in driving down total global semiconductor revenues by 2%.

“For the memory IC business, 2008 can only be described as disastrous,” Ford lamented.

IC memory suppliers including South Korea’s Hynix, down 29%, and Samsung Electronics, down9%, as well as Japanese competitor Toshiba, will be particularly badly burned, while in Europe, Germany’s Qimonda is likely to see its sales drop by over 40%.

Other memory segments, including DRAM, SRAM and NAND flash, have also been tumbling, analysts said.

“About the only good thing that can be said about the 16.9% decline in memory revenue in 2008 is that it pales in comparison to the 48.2% plunge in 2001,” Ford remarked.

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