Taipei, May 8 (CNA) Taiwanese firms took a total 8.4 percent share of the global DRAM chip market in the first quarter of this year, up from 6.3 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of last year, a research group said Tuesday.
According to DRAMeXchange, a research division of market advisory firm TrendForce, Nanya Technology Corp., Taiwan's largest DRAM maker, saw its global market share increase to 4.6 percent in the January-March period from 3.6 percent recorded in the final quarter of the previous year.
DRAMeXchange said the rise in Nanya Technology's market share reflected an increase in commodity DRAM prices of almost 20 percent.
Despite the recovery in market share in the first quarter, the uptrend is unlikely to continue as the company has been reassigning part of its production capacity to the foundry business and the non-DRAM front, the research group said.
In the first quarter, Samsung Electronics Co. retained the title as the world's largest DRAM maker, taking a 41.4 percent share after the company posted about US$2.6 billion (NT$76.2 billion) in sales, down 9.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011, due to falling prices of chips for mobile device use, DRAMeXchange said.
Although Samsung suffered a decline in sales, its operating margin stood at 12 percent, making it the only profitable DRAM maker in the world.
Hynix Semiconductor Inc. of South Korea came in second during the same period, taking a 23.9 percent share after it recorded some US$1.5 billion in sales for the first quarter, down 0.3 percent from the fourth quarter, the research group said.
DRAMeXchange said that although Hynix incurred further losses in the first quarter, as it had upgraded its technology to the advanced 38 nanometer process, the company is expected to turn a profit over the next six months.
Elpida Memory Inc. of Japan replaced U.S.-based Micron Technology Inc. to rank as the third-largest DRAM maker in the world, taking a 12.4 percent share after its first quarter sales rose 0.3 percent from the fourth quarter to US$776 million, according to DRAMeXchange.
Micron, which grasped an 11.6 percent market share, posted US$729 million in sales, down 6.3 percent quarter-on-quarter, it added.
(By Jackson Chang and Frances Huang)