According to Sherry Garber and Bob Merritt from Semico Research Corp. the memory market will see quite some diversification over the next two years. This is mainly due to the convergence in home entertainment - broadcast programs, home computing and Internet content are merging onto one platform, and the convergence of voice, data, video and Internet in the network. Or as every keynote speaker at every networking or electronics conference keeps saying: 'We are moving from the industrial age to the information age.'
This is good news for the memory industry because all the new emerging markets like handheld assistants, Internet appliances, advanced cellular phones and the digital home environment with set top boxes, HDTV (High Definition TV), cable and DSL modems need some type of DRAM. In 1999 the worldwide revenue of DRAM was $20 Billion and it will more than triple to $78 Billion in 2004. Semico predicts that the DRAM consumption by application is going to change in favor of the communications and consumer market and declining in the desktop and notebook segments. The forecast of revenue market share in 2004 prognosticates 57.4% DDR DRAM, 42.4% SDRAM, 0.1% RDRAM and 0.1% EDO DRAM.
The hottest gossip topic at the Platform 2000 conference was the lawsuit Rambus filed against Hitachi at the beginning of January. Apparently Rambus is charging Hitachi with taking patents that were actually intended for the design of Direct Rambus DRAM chips and using the technology for SDRAM interfaces instead. Besides punitive damages Rambus demands an injunction against almost all of Hitachi's DRAM products and SH microprocessors with SDRAM. But this is not all: Rambus also claims that the entire DRAM industry should be slapped with the same restrictions. Needless to say this did not exactly go over well with other DRAM vendors. Rumor has it that several major DRAM companies have quietly offered their help to Hitachi by sharing data that supposedly proves the synchronous technology was developed long before Rambus filed its patent claims in 1990.
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