September 27, 2004
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technology and the two companies have set up a joint-development team near Milan, Italy. In 1999 Intel invested in Ovonyx and also entered into a non-exclusive royalty-bearing license agreement and is jointly developing with Ovonyx the OUM technology at one of Intel's wafer fabrication facilities.
to hold the magnetic polarization of the layer in one specific direction. The other ferromagnetic layer is free to rotate and hold polarization in one of two directions. MRAM is characterized by non-volatility, low voltage operation, unlimited read/write endurance and high-speed read and write operation. MRAM can potentially have the speed of SRAM, the storage capacity of DRAM, and the nonvolatility of flash memory. This means MRAM could potentially replace all of these memory architectures becoming a universal memory solution.
had profits of $2.1 million and $647 thousand respectively. For the quarter ending June 30th the firm has profit of $484 thousand on revenue of $2.9 million.
PMCm (Programmable Metallization Cell memory) utilizes solid state electrochemistry to attain large non-volatile resistance changes in a simple, highly scalable structure. PMCm uses a thin amorphous film with 2 metal contacts. It makes use of a little-known feature of some amorphous materials that they can incorporate relatively large amounts of metal and behave as solid electrolytes. Under appropriate bias conditions, the metal ions in the electrolyte can be reduced to form a conducting pathway through the material but the process can easily be reversed to recreate the insulating amorphous layer.
Axon Technologies Corporation is a technology creation and licensing company. It was founded in 1996 to develop and commercialize its revolutionary and proprietary PMCm technology. On September 22 Infineon became the second company after Micron to license the advanced memory and switching technology from Axon.
DRAM Marketing in $ and Megabits
explained that the normal laws of supply and demand have not been allowed to work. Several major players in the memory business have lost billions of dollars. Normally, this would force consolidation and contraction in an industry. The survivors would be able to command reasonable prices for their products. Since this has not happened, there is an artificial oversupply of product. Firms are forced to lower price to get or retain business. This plays against the shifts on the demand side.
The memory market is a very difficult one as described by Micron in the following excerpt from its 10K filing.
"The semiconductor memory industry is characterized by volatile market conditions, declining average selling prices, rapid technological change, frequent product introductions and enhancements, difficult product transitions and relatively short product life cycles. Technology transitions, resulting from changing market demand, can make it very difficult to optimize product mix. In addition, diversification of the DRAM market continues, with diverse memory needs being driven by the different requirements of desktop and notebook PCs, servers, workstations, handheld devices, and communications, industrial and other applications that demand specific memory solutions."
Memory Market Performance
According to the June 4th press release from the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics the memory market is a fairly stable percentage of the overall semiconductor and IC markets. However, the WSTS forecasts significant drop-off in growth in 2005 and 2006.
2005 Revenue by Memory Type
During 2003 DRAM accounted for 51% of the revenue and 81% of the Megabytes, while Flash accounted for 36% of the revenue and 18% of the Megabytes. SRAM, a distant third, had 8% of the revenue and less than 1% of the Megabytes.
Major Vendors (abbreviated list)
The table below shows the rankings of the top four players in the overall semiconductor market and three memory submarkets.
Market Share Rankings
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-- Jack Horgan, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.
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