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Hynix aims to regain its market share by devoting more resources to graphics memory

Hynix Semiconductor, a leader in integrated circuits used in memory applications, has shifted its focus to recover its market share in graphics memory.  Hynix Semiconductor's market share in Korea had topped out at 40% but was overtaken by Samsung Electronics Corporation in 2005 when Samsung began supplying the majority of the world’s GDDR2/3 graphics memory to claim the crown.

Low and mid-range graphics cards over the last few years have used surplus DDR1 and DDR2 modules as graphics memory to cut costs.  However, as mid range cards begin to shift toward GDDR3, manufacturers are less likely to use the slower (and more power hungry) DDR1 and DDR2 variants.  Furthermore, on the heels of the AM2 announcement last week, DDR2 allocations and prices have shifted, with memory module manufacturers paying a premium for DDR2 that was previously heavily discounted.

Hynix Semiconductor plans to catch up with Samsung by devoting more resources to its graphics memory division and launch such products as the world's first GDDR4 chip last year. GDDR4 is a revision to GDDR3 which allows for high clock speeds in graphics card applications. Hynix's GDDR4 modules operate at 2.9Gbps and provide for double the clock speeds of GDDR3 modules. Hynix has about 150 employees allocated to designing and manufacturing GDDR memory.

ATI has already announced plans to manufacture with GDDR4 and its current generation R580 GPUs support draft specifications for the memory.


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Hynix rules?
By hwhacker on 5/30/2006 11:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
How does Hynix expect to reclaim their market share at this point in time when Samsung announced sampling of 512mb 3.2ghz (12.8GB/s) GDDR4 on a second generation (new type of GDDR4 production) 80nm process back in February? It was said back then it would be massly available now, Q2 06, similar to Hynix's claim on 90nm 512mb 2.9ghz (11.6GB/s) GDDR4.

Samsung's process is smaller, therefore cheaper and probably more abundant, with seemingly more room to bin up as well as down. Surely Hynix can improve, but unless they offer their product at some kind of discount (which I would imagine would be difficult when compared to the brute size of Samsung) I imagine most, if not all of initial graphics cards using GDDR4 will use Samsung's type.


RE: Hynix rules?
By Clauzii on 5/30/2006 11:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
From CDRinf.com:
The company also plans to introduce its GDDR4 DRAM with 14.4GB speed by second half of 2006.

The fastest graphics memory chips had been limited to a speed of just 1.6Gbps prior to the launch of GDDR4.

The density and speed of Hynix's GDDR4 improves over a similar chip released by rival Samsung in late October(2005).

At the time Samsung was able to claim first place in the race to ship GDDR4 to customers for testing. Samsung's GDDR4 is a 256M bit chip that runs at 2.5Gbps, both smaller in density and slower in speed than Hynix's offering, based on the specifications each company has released.

Samsung plans to introduce a 2.8Gbps GDDR4 chip by the end of this year. The company said it expects the high performance graphics card market to grow significantly in the second half of next year.


What does this men then???


RE: Hynix rules?
By hwhacker on 5/31/2006 12:12:35 AM , Rating: 2
The 2.5ghz 256mb design is the OLD samsung design from late last year (October). The 3.2 512mb 80nm chip is the new design from early this year (February). Hynix is marketing their chips to compete with Samsung's new revision. They were rated better than Samsung's old design, but not the newer one which seemed to be have better than expected yields.

From press release dated February 14th 2006:
Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, announced today that it has developed the world’s fastest graphics memory - a GDDR4 graphics DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chip with much faster processing than an earlier version that Samsung led the industry in prototyping only four months ago. Graphics memory, unlike main computer memory, is installed in desktop PCs, notebooks and workstations to manage huge volumes of video images simultaneously.

Designed with 80-nanometer process technology, the device has a 12.8GB/sec processing speed, 30 percent faster than the previous prototype, which allows it to transfer the equivalent of up to six DVD-quality movies every second. The 512Mb GDDR4 graphics DRAM comes with 32 input/output pins, each of which transfers data at 3.2Gb/sec. In October, Samsung completed samples of a 256Mb GDDR4 that processed video (and accompanying audio) at 10 gigabytes per second.


RE: Hynix rules?
By Clauzii on 5/31/2006 12:56:43 AM , Rating: 2
So the whole story was actually waste of space :(

You´re right :) - Thanks for clearing that up :)


RE: Hynix rules?
By Clauzii on 5/31/2006 1:17:22 AM , Rating: 2
... and yeah, I saw that my quote was from dec 2005 :( I read the date a little up from that - the current ... Haha, 16x12 makes some stuff small on the screen....

So my point must be: Hynix needs to do something to stay in game :)


RE: Hynix rules?
By jodhas on 5/31/2006 12:12:57 PM , Rating: 2
I contract with both Hynix and Samsung. Mainly their Eugene Plant and their Austin Plant.

Actually, Hynix is doing quite well.
Their FAB in Eugene, OR is like the egg that lays the golden egg. Their stocks have been soaring as of late and they've just completed their new China FAB. They are also considering to erect another FAB in Eugene OR. (Or the 4th floor expansion of the current FAB).

Hynix and Samsung are competitors. But Hynix acknowledges Samsung's dominance and Samsung respects Hynix's presence. It is in their best interests to see that both do well due to the fact that they are both Korean Companies and that they do not want to see Micron or Infineon back in the game.




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