The prices of PC DRAM chips are expected to surge 30 percent this quarter to hit a two-year high after an aggravated supply crunch boosted prices by 7.4 percent last month from August, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday.
The latest projection is much higher than a 10 percent price increase estimated by the Taipei-based researcher early last month.
TrendForce research director Avril Wu (吳雅婷) attributed the expected price surge primarily to stronger-than-expected global demand for notebook computers during the peak season.
Also, an increasing number of new laptops are equipped with more memory, up to 8 gigabytes each, Wu said.
Last month, the contract prices for PC DRAM chips jumped to US$14.5 per unit, according to price information from TrendForce.
DRAM chipmakers usually negotiate chip prices once a month with notebook computer vendors.
The price hikes are even more drastic on the spot market. DDR3 and DDR4 4-gigabyte chips traded on a daily basis have surged 19 percent and 15 percent to US$2.1 and US$2 per unit respectively this month from a month earlier, according to the research house.
“This indicates that the supply constraint is continuing to worsen,” Wu said in a report released yesterday. “PC vendors are adding orders at higher prices [to cope with rising laptop demand], while the increased demand has greatly surpassed the expectations of DRAM chipmakers.”
Wu said supply of PC DRAM chips also becomes pinched as the world’s major PC DRAM chipmakers accelerate their expansion into memory chips used in handsets and servers to broaden their product portfolios and minimize operational risks.
The situation becomes more complicated as some memorychip makers are seeing lower yield rates when converting existing technology to more advanced 20-nanometer technology, Wu said.
In the current quarter, the world’s major memorychip makers are to allocate a smaller portion, or less than 20 percent, of their capacity for PC memorychip manufacturing, as those chipmakers prefer producing more expensive chips used in smartphones, Wu said.
Global memorychip makers led by Samsung Electronics Co allocate 40 percent of their capacity to produce memory chips for phones to cope with rising demand, as the fourth quarter is also a high season for smartphone sales, she said.
The stock price of the nation’s largest PC DRAM chipmaker, Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技), rose 0.51 percent yesterday, underperforming the TAIEX, which climbed 0.72 percent.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president