SAN JOSE, CA — According to two of engineers from Micron’s (NASDAQ:MU) Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) project, its cube almost did not happen as the first prototype failed to connect the memory stack and the controller. This forced the team to redouble their efforts to save the project. The result was a 4 GB memory stack that is now being sampled by select partners. Company sources also claim they are working on an 8 GB stack.
Analysts see HMC technology as a revolutionary approach to some of the major challenges faced by system designers today. A single HMC module should deliver fifteen times the performance of a single module using current technology while taking up less space and using less energy.
While Micron is not the only company currently developing HMC technology, it would appear that its solution is at a more advanced stage than some of their competitors such as Altera (NASDAQ:ALTR), ARM (FTSE:ARM), and Samsung (KS:005930). The companies who are able to release HMC to the market first will be the early winners in what the Huffington Post called ‘Quantum Computing’.
Year-to-date, Micron’s stock has outperformed the market, rising more than 170 percent (shares opened Monday at an all-time high of $ 16.54. At this point, it would appear that the company is benefiting from a combination of favorable business conditions (such as the move toward cloud computing), and technological advancement. Moreover, Micron’s acquisition of Elpida in July made them the second largest company in the Dynamic Random-Access Memory (DRAM) market – move that manufacturers in Taiwan bemoan amidst a shortage of memory chips.
With PC usage being replaced by cloud servers and mobile products, the market for DRAM is expected to grow by the mid-double digits until 2016. Based on the growth prospects and Micron’s positioning several analysts are predicting that the company share price to continue its rise. Among the believers in the company’s prospects is Bridgewater Associates who increased their stake in the firm following the Elpida acquisition. While on Friday, RBC Capital raised their price target from $ 16.00 to $ 19.00.