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Flash memory market reaches $17.3 billion

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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Apr 27, 2005

Web-Feet Research has revised its 2004 nonvolatile memory market shares report to reflect the final Flash memory market revenue.

Following the close of the fiscal year for Japanese suppliers on 31st March, Web-Feet Research (WFR) has revised its 2004 nonvolatile memory market shares report to reflect the final Flash memory market revenue.

WFR found the 2004 Flash memory market to be $17.3 billion, nearly 11% higher than the $15.6 billion reported by WSTS and other market research firms.

That variance appears to stem from differences in recognising the revenue from Flash memory-based multichip packages (MCPs).

WFR estimates that Flash memory vendors shipped approximately $5.5 billion of Flash-based MCP components in 2004, which s included in the $17.3 billion Flash market.

Flash-based MCP products generally include multiple Flash die and xRAM (SRAM/PSRAM/DRAM) die, bonded together in a single package.

Although separating the value of the Flash memory from that of the xRAM is desirable, in practice it is difficult because the vendors do not report shipments to WSTS uniformly.

To ensure consistent tabulation of the Flash market, WFR accounts for the entire value of the Flash-based MCP.

WFR collects the Flash memory shipment data through the Flash Memory Reporting Association (FMRA).

Founded in 2000, the 17 FMRA member companies accounted for nearly 99% of the worldwide Flash memory shipments in 2004.

Companies reporting to WSTS are asked to divide MCP revenue into its Flash, SRAM and DRAM components.

In practice, this rule is not applied consistently by the suppliers, which distorts quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year comparisons.

Nevertheless, most market research firms correlate their market numbers with the WSTS results.

The difference in the Flash market sise reported by WFR and WSTS is due to accounting methodology.

WFR believes its method provides a better estimate of the Flash memory market and forecasts the 2005 Flash memory market will grow 11%, reaching $19.2 billion.

Most of this growth is driven by the high demand for NAND components and MCP configurations.

Samsung leads the vendor rankings for 2004, accounting for US $4897 million, followed by Spansion with $2411 million and Intel with $2349 million.

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