PALO ALTO, Calif. -- In an unusual move to expand services to customers of design automation and intellectual property (IP) products, Denali Software Inc. today launched a subscription-based market research program to help product development teams analyze changing standards, the proliferation of memories into new applications, and the revenue potential for new ICs.
The service is being offered for an annual subscription fee of $20,000 per year--about the same cost as market research firms offer their forecasting services, said Lane Mason, market analyst heading up the new Denali Research Service. But Denali is aiming its research services at " boring deeper into certain areas," specifically and exclusively in emerging memory technologies and market trends, explained Mason, who was a memory analyst at Dataquest Inc. in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
"We are less focused on counting up how many SDRAMs were shipped by Samsung last year and more f ocused on how the transition from DDR-266 to DDR-333 will take hold," Mason said. "We are also dealing with what mines are in the road along the way," he added, referring to explosive market issues and potential hazards threatening new product efforts at Denali's customer base using memory IP and design software.
For the $20,000 subscription fee, Denali Research Service will provide a monthly newsletter, customized market presentations to customers twice a year, quarterly Webcast updates, and ongoing access to the company's analysts via telephone or e-mail.
The new service is being launched because IP design core customers are needing much more help in understanding the market dynamics, in addition to gaining access to technology for new products, said Kevin Silver, vice president of marketing at Denali. The Palo Alto company is primarily focused on supplying IP cores, memory simulation and verification software.
"A factor is the need for risk aversion," Silver said in an interview with SBN. IP customers and design teams "have to make some serious choices about their memory selection and how they are going to migrate from one architecture to another very early in their development cycles. They must have confidence that their choices are correct."
The Denali Research Service deals with all types of memory formats and architectures, including flash, SRAM and DRAM.
"DRAMs are starting to find their way into cell phones. Consumer products and video game consoles are taking on more and more of the memory units," observed Mason, referring to the shift of market share from PC storage applications to other systems.
For example, about 25% of the DRAMs are expected to be used in consumer products in 2005 vs. 9% in 2001. Communications systems will consume 29% of DRAMs in 2005 vs. 13% last year, according to Denali. The PC share of DRAM use is expected to drop from 72% in 2001 to 42% in 2005.
In addition, memory architectures are rapidly changing and diversifying--especially in DRAMs wi th double data rate (DDR), Rambus, Fast Cycle RAM (FCRAM) and other format competing in the markets. "DRAM is following the architecture diversification that occurred in flash and SRAM in the previous decades," Mason noted.
"It is especially confusing for companies designing in the memory space today because there are so many options and there is so much chaos and consolidation," Mason told SBN. "Some suppliers want in and other want out. Everyone has been losing money in the stand alone memory segment. There is a crying need for more information in our particular market space [embedded and stand along memories]."
"The issue [customers] are facing is that they are designing a chip that will go into a system a year from now and be in production for a couple years. A lot of the content of the Denali Research Service will be directed at the larger market picture and supply assurance for long term programs," he added.
--J. Robert Lineback