Wednesday, February 12, 2020
The supply of DRAM and NAND flash memory chips is set to fall short of demand in the second half of 2020, although a pick-up in end-market demand may arrive later than expected, according to Winbond Electronics president Tung-Yi Chan.
With more Chinese cities put on coronavirus lockdown, uncertainties have cast shadows on the memory market this year, said Chan. Winbond is keeping a close eye on the development of the coronavirus outbreak in China. The next two weeks will be critical to see whether the epidemic can be put under control, followed by recovery in consumer confidence, Chan indicated.
The DRAM market demand still looks promising, thanks to 5G, Chan noted. Demand will be on par with or exceed supply in the second half of 2020, Chan said.
As for flash memory, a healthy supply-demand balance is set to take place in the NOR flash and SLC NAND segments during the first half of 2020 driven by robust demand for TWS earbuds, Wi-Fi 6, IoT and 5G related devices, Chan indicated. The supply will likely fall short of demand in the second half, Chan said.
Major chipmakers have been cautious about capacity expansions resulting in limited growth on the supply side, Chan suggested. Supply-side controls will play another factor behind the tight supply in the second half of this year, Chan said.
Winbond expects the memory market to be favorable to the company in 2020, despite the coronavirus impact, according to Chan. The company slipped into the red in the fourth quarter of 2019, due to unsatisfactory yield rates of its in-house developed 25nm manufacturing process resulting in lower DRAM product ASPs. The process yield rates are improving, and the company is still optimistic about its operations this year, Chan said.
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