DRAM, NAND price increases slowing

July 19, 2017 //By Peter Clarke
DRAM, NAND price increases slowing
The rate of climb in average selling prices (ASPs) for DRAM and NAND memories peaked in 4Q16 but prices continued to rise in the 1H17 and will drive memory IC sales to record highs in 2017, said IC Insights.

DRAM unit shipments are forecast to fall in 2017 while NAND unit shipments are only expected to rise 2 percent. However, the rising ASPs will deliver market growth in 2017.

IC Insights forecasts that the DRAM ASP will increase by a smaller amount in 3Q17 before going down in 4Q17. Even so by the end of the year DRAM ASP will be up 63 percent on a year before. For NAND flash, the 2017 ASP is forecast to increase 33 percent.

Quarterly percentage changes to DRAM and NAND flash average selling prices. Source: IC Insights.

Although DRAM manufacturers have stepped up capital spending the majority of it is going towards technology advancements and not toward capacity additions, IC Insights said. NAND flash is a different case and almost all of the spending for flash memory in 2017 will be used to bring up 3D NAND flash memory production. A big increase in NAND flash capital spending is expected from Samsung in 2017 as it ramps 3D NAND production at fab in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.

With Samsung, SK Hynix, Micron, Intel, Toshiba and XMC/Yangtze each planning to ramp up 3D NAND and potential being joined by other Chinese producers there is a likelihood that 3D NAND will go into oversupply in the next few years, said IC Insights.

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