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Memory

Trendforce: DRAM Prices Rebound in Q1 2013

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Trendforce: DRAM Prices Rebound in Q1 2013

According to TrendForce's DRAMeXchange Q1 2013 sees a rebound in commodity DRAM prices-- mainstream DDR3 4GB module contract prices grow by 36.2% Q-o-Q (from $17.25 on Q4 2012 to $23.50), a rare occurrence in a traditionally weak 1st quarter.

The analyst expects growing DRAM prices will support revenue growth until at least until Q2 2013.


When it comes to vendors, Korea's Samsung and SK Hynix control 64.3% of the market, a -3% drop from Q4 2012. Samsung fails to benefit from the price rebound, with DRAM revenues dropping by -10% Q-o-Q due to commodity DRAM production reduced to less than 20% of total supply. However, thanks mobile DRAM output exceeding 40% (mobile DRAM remains the most profitable of memory products) Samsung still sees strong Q1 2013 margins despite revenue reductions.

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First Hybrid Memory Cube Spec Complete

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First Hybrid Memory Cube Spec Complete

The Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium (HMCC) finishes the first specification for its titular memory technology-- HMC Specification 1.0, allowing OEMs to make 2 or 4GB DRAM employing a stacked, power-efficient architecture.

The result of a 17-month long collective effort led by Micron, Samsung and Hynix, the technology stacks multiple memory dies on top of a DRAM controller. In turn DRAM connects to the controller via silicon Vertical Interconnect Access (VIA), a technology passing a vertical electrical wire through a silicon wafer.

The structure reduces the tasks the memory chip performs, providing an interface 15x faster than standard DDR3 DRAM while reducing power requirements by -70% according to the HMCC.

In total the specification provides for chips with up to 160GBps of aggregate bi-directional bandwidth-- slightly faster than the current 11GBps of aggregate bandwidth of DDR3 or 18-20GBps of DDR4.

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iSuppli: DRAM Growth Slows Down

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iSuppli: DRAM Growth Slows Down

According to IHS iSuppli the average growth of DRAM content per PC will drop to a record low in 2013-- 17.4%, down from 21.4% in 2012 and the record highs of 56.1% in 2007 and 49.9% in 2008.

DRAM loading growth in PCs should remain low in the near future, rising by 21.3% in 2014 before sliding towards the 20% range until at least 2016.

The analyst attributes the decline to the current deceleration in the upgrade cycle (usually justified by the steady increase in PC capabilities) of both desktop and notebook PC.

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Magnetoelectrics: The Next Step in Memory?

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Magnetoelectrics: The Next Step in Memory?

Physicists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory may have found the materials making the next generation of memory-- "magnetoelectrics" with linked magnetic and electric properties.

Magnetoelectric materials allow one to control magnetic behaviours via the application of electrical current, or vice versa. As physicist Philip Ryan puts it "electricity and magnetism are intrinsically coupled-– they’re the same entity. Our research is designed to accentuate the coupling between the electric and magnetic parameters by subtly altering the structure of the material."

The team at Argonne uses EuTiO3 (europium-titanium oxide), a compound whose atomic structure has a titanium atom inside an atomic "cage" of europium and oxygen (see picture). Compressing the cage (via thin EuTiO3 film) and applying voltage shifts the titanium, electrically polarising the compound and essentially changing the magnetic order of the material.

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iSuppli: No DRAM Surge for Q4

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iSuppli: No DRAM Surge for Q4

While the debut of a new PC OS historically results in double-digit DRAM shipment growth, IHS iSuppli predicts the Windows 8 launch will not follow the pattern-- global DRAM shipments will grow by only 8% Y-o-Y in Q4 2012.

The iSuppli totals also include DRAM shipments headed for tablet and smartphone use.

How come growth will remain lackluster? First off, Windows 8 requires no more DRAM than Windows 7 does, meaning it will not boost memory orders from OEMs.

Meanwhile the economic situation continues Continue reading...

Micron CEO: NAND Prices Should Firm in 2013

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Micron CEO: NAND Prices Should Firm in 2013

Micron CEO Mark Durcan predicts NAND memory prices will increase by 2013 as industry production cuts offset slow European and US economies, reducing the current supply glut.

In an interview with Reuters Durcan says "I'm quite optimistic the first half of next year can be significantly stronger for NAND... it's tougher to know in the short term."

The current NAND oversupply (partly due to surging mobile device sales) has caused prices to drop heavily, causing losses for memory vendors such as Micron. Continue reading...

DRAMeXchange: DRAM Selling Prices Rebound

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DRAMeXchange: DRAM Selling Prices Rebound

The global DRAM market is on the way to recovery in Q2 2012 according to DRAMeXchange-- as average selling prices (ASPs) rebound and vendors near fully loaded capacities, industry revenues grow by 12% Q-o-Q.

However overall revenues decline by 13.8% Y-o-Y to total $7.02 billion.

When it comes to vendors, Samsung and SK Hynix retain the lead, holding nearly 70% of the total market between them. Samsung revenues are up by nearly 7% Q-o-Q, reaching $2.78bn with a slight decline in market share (3 Continue reading...

First Production of Phase Change Memory

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First Production of Phase Change Memory

Micron is the first company to start volume production of Phase Change Memory (PCM) solutions-- with 45nm PCM technology ideal for mobile device applications.

The Micron PCM offering features 1Gb PCM plus 512Mb LPDDR2 in multichip packages. Currently available for feature phones, the company also plans to develop further on the technology with smartphone and tablet applications.

PCM technology offers higher data speeds than conventional NAND flash while retaining data when power is switched off, Continue reading...

LPDDR3: Memory of Future Choice?

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LPDDR3: Memory of Future Choice?

With ultrabooks and mobile devices going for quad-core processors, the future demands new memory-- LPDDR3, which should account for 20% of total mobile DRAM shipments by H2 2013 according to TrendForce's DRAMeXchange.

Making LPDDR3 attractive is higher bandwidth and efficiency than LPDDR2. The next Intel platform, Haswell, should support LPDDR3 once it hits the market in 2013.

DRAMeXchange predicts LPDDR3 will take over 50% of the global DRAM market (thus becoming mainstream) by H2 2014-- once Continue reading...

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