Tue, Feb 04, 2020 - Page 12 News List

Memorychip supply unscathed by virus: TrendForce

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Memorychip supply should remain steady, as major chipmakers have not halted production at fabs in China due to a coronavirus outbreak, dispelling concerns about potential supply disruptions, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday.

The researcher retained its forecast of mild price hikes for DRAM and NAND flash memory chips for this quarter, as chip suppliers have already settled on prices with clients, TrendForce said in a report.

China’s major DRAM chipmaker, ChangXin Memory Technologies Inc (CXMT, 合肥長鑫存儲), is running factories as normal, unaffected by the outbreak, TrendForce found in its survey.

CXMT operates factories in Hefei in Anhui Province, which borders Hubei Province, where the outbreak began.

CXMT has kept “capacity expansion plans on track and should not see any impact by the virus in the short term,” TrendForce said.

The Chinese company is also shipping chips as usual to clients with operations in China, as it plays a key role in China’s efforts to enhance its position in the semiconductor industry and is not subject to the government transportation ban for provinces severely affected by the epidemic, the researcher said.

Chinese DRAM maker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co (福建晉華) is also operating its plants as normal and is exempt from the transportation lockdown, the report said.

South Korean DRAM maker SK Hynix Inc is not expected to be directly affected by the coronavirus, as its manufacturing facilities are in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, one province away from Hubei, TrendForce said.

SK Hynix ran its facilities nonstop during the Lunar New Year holiday, it said.

SK Hynix is the only one of the world’s top three DRAM makers that produce chips in China, the researcher said.

Overall, the outbreak has not had any substantial impact on DRAM production, TrendForce said, adding that it would closely monitor whether the supply of raw materials would be affected by the lockdown.

The outbreak has also had a limited effect on the supply of NAND flash memory from China, TrendForce said, adding that Chinese NAND flash memory chipmakers Yangtze Memory Technologies Co’s (YMTC, 長江存儲) and Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (XMC, 武漢新芯) production lines were running smoothly during the holiday.

As XMC only contributes about 1 percent of the world’s NAND flash memory production, any production issue would have a limited effect on global supply, TrendForce said.

If the epidemic continues to spread, the chipmaker’s plans to expand capacity next quarter could be thwarted, the researcher added.

The outbreak has had no effect on Samsung Electronics Co and Intel Corp, as their factories are in Xian and Dalian, far from the affected areas, it added.

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