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DRAM market stays upbeat

Posted: 22 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DRAM market? NAND? memory product?

Although DRAM manufacturing capacity has already exceeded OEM demand, it is not a clear indication of a major overcapacity in 2H07.

According to Semico Research Corp., bit growth has increased at approximately 20 percent for the past two quarters, mostly on the strength of the 512Mbit market. However, if DRAM capacity remains exactly flat with no increase in capacity for the remainder of 2007, DRAM bit growth will still achieve highest growth rate in 7 years, the firm said.

In previous years, DRAM manufacturers were faced with the choices of idling the fabs to reduce the supply or continuing to increase their output in order to reduce their average cost per device. But the rise of NAND as a high volume commodity memory product has presented another variable to the memory manufacturers. Because of the manufacturing similarities between NAND and DRAM, some memory manufacturers have the option of shifting enough resources between the two products to impact the total production.

"The second half of 2007 clearly establishes that the analysis of DRAM supply and demand can no longer be separated from a coordinated and linked analysis of NAND conditions," said Bob Merritt, an analyst with Semico, in a statement. "The demand and production ramp for NAND in iPhones is now directly linked to the DRAM cost and availability for Vista."

One new impact from this new market equation has already been seen. "DRAM capacity is building in the supply channels in anticipation of tighter DRAM supply in the fourth quarter," he said.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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