DRAM Sales Fest Nearing End

Article By : Dylan McGrath, EE Times

Market decline forecast following record years

SAN FRANCISCO — DRAM will once again finish the year with the highest growth rate of any semiconductor product, though 2019 is shaping up to be a very different story, according to market research firm IC Insights.

DRAM is expected to finish 2018 with 39% growth, following up its 77% growth in 2017, IC Insights said. DRAM has once again benefited from a steady surge of rising average selling prices over the past two years amid a shortage in the market.

But the historically cyclical DRAM market appears to be headed for tougher times in 2019. After two strong years of growth, the world’s leading DRAM suppliers — South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix and U.S.-based Micron Technology — have significantly expanded their manufacturing capacity and are beginning to ramp up production, bringing relief to strained supplies, especially for high-performance DRAM parts, IC Insights said. Meanwhile, shipments of large-scale datacenter servers — the primary catalyst for much of the recent DRAM market surge — have begun to ease amid uncertain economic and trade conditions, the firm said.

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IC Insights predicts that that DRAM will rank near the bottom of all semiconductor categories in terms of growth rate in 2019, with sales forecast to decline by 1%.

DRAM has consistently been at the top or near the bottom of all semiconductor products in terms of growth rate over the past six years, a testament to its highly cyclical nature, according to IC Insights. DRAM was also the fastest growing semiconductor product in both 2013 and 2014, according to the firm.

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