Archive for March, 2012

Elpida files for bankruptcy

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

The DRAM industry is not for the faint hearted. Add to the inherent “dynamic” nature of this biz, the waning of PC biz and onslaught of mobile tsunami and things definitely start gettimg pricklier.

Earlier this week, the Japanese DRAM maker, Elpida filed for bankruptcy. According to Q4 ’11 figures, Elpida had 12% of the market share, slightly trailing behind Micron (12.1%) and the top 2 players – Hynix (23.3%) and Samsung (44.3%).

Consolidation was waiting to happen in the DRAM space and now prices should hopefully stabilize. One company that does stand to gain here is Micron, the only non-Asian player in this market. It saw its shares rise on this news. A decade back, Micron walked away from a transaction under which it would have acquired the memory operations of South Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor. Now it has another opportunity where it can buy capacity cheaply (Elpida’s Hiroshima plant).

AMD acquires SeaMicro

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

AMD starts selling Intel based servers – it does make an intriguing catch phrase, correct?

AMD’s latest acquisition of SeaMicro has caused some ripples. SeaMicro is a US based exclusive start-up claiming high power and space reductions (both key factors in the server market). And it currently sells exclusively Intel based servers. Its technology includes a custom CPU (Atom or Xeon) + DRAM + Freedom Fabric ASIC.

AMD has seen its market share in the server market fall from 15% in 2007 to 6.5% in 2011. Add to it the fact that almost 22% of the company’s market share depends upon server sales. So, this acquisition will strengthen AMD’s stake in this sector.

Outlook here may well include – AMD phasing out Intel’s design/chips and replacing with its own (the thread performance of its CPUs score over Intel’s) or perhaps ARM (following its partners (IBM, Dell, HP) and…. at the mention of partners, with AMD selling chips to its existing partners and also selling servers which count these partners as competition, this acquisition can pose a channel conflict