NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -09/08/11)- For the makers of memory chips, the level to which they are able to predict fluctuations in demand can spell success or disaster. With the noticeable downturn in the PC market and the DRAM chips that are used in them, many companies in the Memory Chips sector seem to be focusing more on flash memory chips used in smartphones and tablet devices. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Technology Sector and provides investment research on SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK - News) and MIPS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIPS - News). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
According to IHS iSupply, the average selling price for Double Data Rate 3 (DDR) in the 2-gigabit (Gb) density -- the bellwether DRAM product -- is projected to drop to $1.60 in the third quarter, down 24 percent from $2.10 in the second quarter. DRAM manufacturers attribute the low growth in shipments in the second quarter to large inventory and challenges in transitioning to new process technologies.
The NAND market continues to improve, however. Contract prices for MLC NAND flash memories all stopped falling in late August, according to DRAMeXchange. Average prices for 16Gb and 32Gb MLC NAND chips saw sequential growth of 3-6% in the second half of August while those for high-density 64Gb ones remained flat.
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One of key drivers for NAND technology has been Apple's iPhone and iPad. On the downside, research from IHS Supply argues that Apple could -- ironically -- be responsible for future weakness in the NAND market. IHS Supply says that with the introduction of the iCloud storage service, the massive demand for Apple's various mobile devices could have a detrimental effect as less memory is required.
MIPS is a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores that power some of the world's most popular products for the digital home, networking and mobile device markets. The company is an active participant in the smartphone race -- one that CEO Sandeep Vij referred to as a marathon and not a sprint. The company is now porting the newest version of Google's Android to the MIPS architecture.
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