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2019 to be a down cycle year for memory

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The DRAM market is set to remain the fastest-growing IC product segment in 2018, according to IC Insights. The market is forecast to increase 39% in 2018 following a 77% surge in 2017.

The number-one position is not unfamiliar territory for the DRAM market. It was also the fastest-growing IC segment in 2013 and 2014, IC Insights indicated.

DRAM has been at the top or near the bottom of this list over the past six years, demonstrating its very volatile and cyclical nature, IC Insights said. DRAM will rank nearly last in terms of market growth in 2019, with a 1% decrease in total sales.

After two strong years of growth, Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and Micron Technology - the world's three primary DRAM suppliers - have expanded their manufacturing capacity and are beginning to ramp up production, bringing some relief to strained supplies, especially for high-performance DRAM devices. At the same time, shipments of large-scale datacenter servers, which were a primary catalyst for much of the recent DRAM market surge, have begun to ease as uncertain economic and trade conditions factor into decisions about continuing with the strong build out, IC Insights noted.

NAND flash joins DRAM as another memory segment that has enjoyed very strong growth over the past two years, IC Insights said. Solid-state computing, particularly, has been a key driver for high-density, high-performance NAND flash even as mobile applications continue to be a significant driver.

Meanwhile, automotive and computing special purpose logic devices have also been strong performers the past two years, IC Insights disclosed. The top five IC markets listed for 2018 are the only product categories that are expected to surpass the 17% growth rate of the total IC market this year.

By: DocMemory
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