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DRAM growth to reach 22.5 percent

by on03 November 2017

Samsung will increase production

Beancounters at DRAMeXchange say that as Samsung looking to expand production capacity, the global bit growth of DRAM will reach 22.5 percent in 2018 compared with 19.5 percent this year.

DRAMeXchange said that for two years, chipmakers' limited production capacity growth and technology transition challenges have stunted the overall DRAM industry supply bit growth. DRAM contract market prices began to rise in the second half of 2016, driven particularly by a seasonal pick up in end-market demand. The supply of DRAM memory has also been tight since 2017.

The average contract price of mainstream 4GB DDR4 PC DRAM modules had soared from $13 at the end of second-quarter 2016 to $30.5 in the fourth quarter of 2017.

DRAMeXchange research director Avril Wu, said: "This represents an increase of 130 percent over six consecutive quarters."

Samsung is considering expanding its production capacity to extend its DRAM market lead and raise barriers to entry, the tight supply of DRAM memory is expected to ease "sooner than originally anticipated”, DRAMeXchange said.

Samsung will allocate more of the available capacity at its new fabrication line in Pyeongtae for the production of DRAM memory, and add more DRAM capacity to its Line 17 fab in Hwaseong.

DRAM production at Samsung's Pyeongtaek facility will use the 18nm process and there is still room for further capacity expansion, DRAMeXchange added.

Samsung will expand its monthly DRAM output for 2018 by 80,000-100,000 wafers, and increase its total DRAM production capacity from 390,000 wafers monthly at the end of 2017 to nearly 500,000 units by the end of 2018, DRAMeXchange said.

SK Hynix and Micron Technology will also be encouraged to expand their production capacities to maintain market share,.

SK Hynix is transitioning to 18nm and has plans to build its second fab in Wuxi, China in 2018. As for Micron, the company may be preparing to expand production capacity and upgrade its manufacturing technology with sufficient working capital given by a recent rally in the company's stock price, DRAMeXchange said.

Last modified on 03 November 2017
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