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      Foreign media forecast the memory bar also soared

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      As DDR4 memory products begin to replace DDR3, memory market prices have become more volatile. Partly because the market turned to high-speed memory, foreign media IC Insights predicted that by the end of 2017, the memory market share will rise to 57.3 billion US dollars; an increase of 39% over the end of 2016.

      DDR4 memory accounted for about 45% of total memory sales in 2016. According to IC Insights, low-power versions of DDR3, including tablets, smartphones and laptops, accounted for 84% of total memory sales in 2014, compared with 76% in 2015, but DDR4 premiums evaporated in 2016, with prices Drop to almost the same price with DDR3 memory.
      An increasing number of microprocessors, such as Intel's latest 14nm x86 core processors, already include DDR4 controllers and interfaces. As a result, DDR4 is expected to become the dominant memory product in 2017 with 58% market share and 39% DDR3.

      Although JEDEC officially launched its 4th generation DDR in 2012, it is not until 2015 that data centers and Internet companies start to load the next generation of memory for servers to improve performance and reduce power consumption.
      In 2016, DDR4 memory rapidly expanded to more data center servers, mainframes and high-end PCs, accounting for about 45% of total memory sales and 20% in 2015. In 2017, DDR4 will enter more laptops, high-end tablets and smartphones, accounting for 58% of total memory sales.
      IC Insights said the DDR4 standard includes many features that are expected to accelerate memory operations and increase the amount of memory in servers, laptops, desktops, tablets and consumer electronics products. DDR4 supports stacked memory chips with up to eight devices, providing a single signal load. Compared to DDR3, DDR4 may double the module density, double the speed, and reduce power consumption by 20%, extending the battery life of future 64-bit tablets and smartphones.
      Meanwhile, since mid-2016, the average selling price of memory has been rapidly rising. The average selling price has risen by about 54% from US $ 2.41 in April 2016 to US $ 3.70 in February 2017. As a result, IC Insights raised its memory market forecast for 2017 to $ 57.3 billion, an increase of 39% over 2016. It also said that the average selling price of memory will continue to rise most of the first half of 2017, though not likely to rise as rapidly from April 2016 to February 2017.

      Of course, memory suppliers are happy about price increases. Micron said its memory outlook for FY17 (as of August 31) is very positive, with strong demand in PC, server, communications, automotive and several other areas.
      The bigger issue with Micron and other top-tier memory vendors is whether the availability of memory will stabilize and prices can start to decline. On February 17, Samsung began operations at Pyeongtaek Plant No. 18, which produces 300,000 300mm wafers per month and has five production lines dedicated to memory modules. The company also plans to use 18nm process technology in the fab start memory production.
      A year after the price surge, the increase in memory supply in the second half of 2017 may result in a decrease in the average memory selling price, which may be the beginning of a cyclical slowdown in the overall memory market. For suppliers, will face enormous challenges.
      In terms of countermeasures, Samsung did not make any statement about its production capacity. SK hynix claimed to have expanded its production overseas but did not have the exact action and time plan yet; Micron said it will not expand its capacity and is currently focusing on 12nm process switching and existing yield rising.

      Prosperity or depression, the memory market is rarely stable and predictable way forward. At least in the first half of 2017, the memory market is going to be very beneficial for these three vendors.
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