The global DRAM industry next year is expected to enter a new downcycle, with chip prices likely to decline 15 to 20 percent annually amid a supply glut, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday.
Major memorychip makers have conservatively expanded capacity — with the overall DRAM supply next year likely to grow 17.9 percent annually — but the growth in supply would still exceed an expected 16.3 percent growth in demand, given lackluster orders for products, especially smartphones, TrendForce said.
While demand for server DRAM chips is expected to rise 20 percent next year and demand for PC DRAM chips to rise more than 15 percent, demand for mobile DRAM chips could be as low as 15 percent — making it weaker than expected — after smartphone shipments only rise 3.5 percent to 1.4 billion units next year, TrendForce said.
Smartphones use 40 percent of the DRAM chips produced each year, but shortages of processors, driver ICs and other key components could cap their growth next year, it said.
Given such constraints, the world’s DRAM industry is projected to see flat growth next year, with overall revenue edging up only 0.3 percent from an estimated US$90 billion for this year, it added.
Based on TrendForce’s research, Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s biggest memorychip maker, is expected to increase its chip output by 19.6 percent next year by upgrading the technology on the production line at its Pyeongtaek campus.
SK Hynix Inc is to expand capacity by 17.7 percent by migrating to 1y-nanometer and 1z-nanometer technologies, while Micron Technology Inc is to boost capacity by 16.3 percent, TrendForce said.
In Taiwan, Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) and Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子) are to expand capacity a negligible amount, as Nanya’s new fab is to enter volume production in 2024 and Winbond’s new fab is to begin trial operations next year, it said.
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