|By contrast, production of 16Mb DRAMs will be reduced to about 1.4 billion this year.
DRAM manufacturers are rapidly shifting their production from 16Mb to 64Mb under the influence of the DRAM
recession. If this trend continues, in early 1999 production of the latter will exceed that of the former on
a unit basis (See chart.).
In the third quarter of 1996 production of 16Mb DRAMs exceeded that of 4Mb DRAMs. The age of use of 16Mb
DRAMs will have finished only two-and-one-half years after that.
The generation cycle of DRAMs has so far occurred every four years. The oversupply of DRAMs, which started in
the first quarter of 1996, and the reduction of their price as a result are causing short use of 16Mb DRAMs.
They will be replaced by 64Mb DRAMs completely.
In the market share of all DRAMs produced in the first quarter of 1998, calculated in terms of bits, Korea's
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. ranked first, with 17 percent, and Japan's NEC Corp. was second, with 12
percent. Korea's LG Semicon Co., Ltd. ranked third with 11 percent. America's Micron Technology Inc. and
Korea's Hyundai Electronics Industries Co., Ltd. ranked fourth at the same level of 10 percent. The three
Korean companies were in the top five, because they have almost never reduced production of 16Mb DRAMs.
The share of America's Texas Instruments Inc., which is shifting to the production of non-memory goods such
as digital signal processors (DSPs), halved to 5 percent compared with the first quarter of 1997. The share
of Germany's Siemens AG expanded to 4 percent.
The detailed results of the research have been published in Nikkei
Market Access' "Detailed Report on DRAM Production In the First Quarter Of 1998." It is priced at 300,000
yen (US$2,300). The text is in Japanese, although figures and tables are in English.
Chart: Worldwide DRAM production
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(Nikkei Market Access)