Korean companies are dominating the field of 8 Gb DRAM, high-capacity memory, which began in earnest this year, taking up nearly 80 percent of market share.
According to semiconductor e-commerce site DRAMeXchange and market research firm HIS Technology on Sept. 29, Samsung Electronics constitutes 53 percent of the 8 Gb DRAM market as of the second quarter of 2015, and SK Hynix comprises 25 percent. Their combined share amounts to 78 percent. Micron Technology represents 22 percent of the market, which placed the firm in the third spot.
The two firms' combined share of the global 8 Gb DRAM market is higher than that of the total DRAM market. Their combined share of the DRAM market was 72 percent in Q1 of this year, with Samsung accounting for 44 percent of the market and SK Hynix with 28 percent.
Samsung made up 58 percent of the mobile DRAM market in Q2 2015, and SK Hynix with 24 percent, and so their combined share surpassed 80 percent.
After recording 10 percent of total DRAM shipments this year, 8 Gb DRAM is likely to comprise half of the DRAM market next year. Its weight is projected to reach 70 to 80 percent of the DRAM market after 2017. Since 8 Gb DRAM supports DDR4 modules, which have become one of the leading DRAM chips, there is growing recognition that 8 Gb memory chips will become the mainstream of the market.
Double Data Rate (DDR) is a clock speed standard for DRAM. With DDR evolving from DDR1 to DDR4, data processing speeds have increased twofold. However, DDR4 consumes 35 percent less power than DDR3.
The proportion of DDR4 to DDR products for servers or PCs is expected to grow from 9 percent this year to 29 percent in 2016, to 41 percent in 2017, and to 45 percent in 2018.
The two local chip makers that lead the 8 Gb DRAM market are ahead of Micron in Intel Platform Memory Validation, which verifies SDRAM compliance to Intel specifications for and performance of supported DDR memory modules in Intel reference systems. Samsung and SK Hynix have already succeeded in getting certifications of 32 Gb modules made with single 8 Gb chips in Intel’s certification of DDR4 registered dual inline memory modules (RDIMMs), which were DRAM modules for servers. Micron, on the other hand, has been certified by Intel only for 16 Gb modules manufactured with single 4 Gb chips.
Intel's certification directly links to competitiveness in the market, since server or PC vendors like HP, Dell, and IBM consider featuring memory chips certified by Intel.
In the certification of Load Reduced DIMM (LRDIMM), high-capacity DRAM models for servers, Samsung and SK Hynix have completed the certification of their 64 Gb modules, which were made with 8 Gb chips. But Micron remains at the 4 Gb level.