Electronics Production | March 04, 2011
Steady DDR3 contract price in 2H’February
According to DRAMeXchange, a research department of TrendForce Corporation, 2H’February DRAM contract price remains steady. DDR3 2GB and 4GB average contract price stayed at USD 16.5 (USD 0.88/Gb) and USD 32 (USD 1.84/Gb) respectively.
With a surging demand in Smartphone, tablet PC and cloud computing, DRAM vendors are planning on re-allocating the capacity onto mobile DRAM and server-basis memory. The over-supply in commodity DRAM, is thus, alleviated. The earlier concern rose in Intel flawed chipset has been resolved in mid-February. Furthermore, Intel is expected to reach its normal shipping capacity by the end of 1Q11. Meanwhile, the inventory level of memory among PC-OEMs remains universally low and 4GB will likely become the mainstream content per box of the new Sandy Bridge models. An inventory replenishment before the traditional sale season is expected. On the other hand, DDR3 1333Mhz 1Gb spot price was located at $1.09, which was 24% higher than the contract price USD 0.88. DRAMeXchange expects a DRAM price rebound in 2Q11 because of the low DRAM price. Mobile DRAM is expected to double in 2011 from the strong demand of Smartphones and tablet PCs According to DRAMeXchange, the high -performance mobile DRAM featured with energy efficiency is expected to prolong the battery life and usage of mobile devices. 2011 mobile DRAM growth rate is expected to be over 100%. Mainly benefited from the strong Smartphone and tablet demand, mobile DRAM growth dominated other DRAM segments. Mobile DRAM is expected to take 18% share of the total worldwide DRAM output. Smartphone content per box has increased from 128MB in iPhone 3G to 512MB in iPhone 4. The typical android devices content per box also reached 1GB mobile DRAM. Despite of the yet confirmed memory specification for iPad2, Touch Pad from HP, XOOM from Motorola and Playbook from RIM will be equipped with 1GB mobile DRAM and the content per box is expected to reach 1.5GB or 2GB in 2012. The mainstream 4Gb and 8Gb mobile DRAMs are priced at USD 14 and USD 28 respectively, with an average of USD 3.5 per 1Gb. They are about four times more expensive than the 1Gb commodity DRAM which is priced at USD 0.88. One of the reasons being mobile DRAM output is only 80% of those of commodity DRAM in terms of a 12” inch wafer. On the contrast, the higher technology entry barrier, have left DRAM vendors a satisfactory profit margin. Samsung, Hynix, Micron and Elpida accounted for more than 90% of mobile DRAM market. In which Korean vendors grabbed nearly 70%. Samsung, Hynix and Micron as manufacturers of NAND shipped MCP as the major output. In addition, Samsung is expected to launch 4Gb mono die mobile DRAM in 2Q10 using 35nm technology. At the same time Elpida shifted its focus onto individual mobile DRAM product and possibly ship out MCP depends on the development of SLC. Micron has relatively low output in mobile DRAM but will like change after 2H11 with the help of Inotera. As for Taiwanese vendors, Winbond is the most experienced, with roughly 29% revenue in 4Q10 attributed to the yet low density product (below 512Mb) and mobile DRAM. Nanya is aggressive in entering the mobile DRAM business with multiple projects scheduled for qualification. We expect to see Nanya joining the mass production in 2H11.