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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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