With the rising popularity of smartphones and tablet PCs, DRAM
makers are eagerly expanding mobile DRAM capacity, which not only
improves profitability but lowers risk from commodity DRAM production as
well, according to TrendForce.
"Smartphone shipments are
forecasted at 14.80 crore for Q2, a 48 per cent yoy increase. As for
hardware specifications, quad-core chips, Android 4.0 (ICS) and LTE are
in the spotlight this year, further increasing smartphone market share
and mobile DRAM demand."
Korean DRAM manufacturers have a strong foothold on the mobile DRAM market, the research firm states. Samsung and Hynix's combined revenue encompasses 70 per cent of the mobile memory market, and the makers are expected to begin mass producing LPDDR3 in the second half of this year. The new product will be used not only in smartphones and tablet PCs, but ultrabooks as well.
concerns over Elpida's bankruptcy protection filing have not yet
dissipated, the Japanese maker is actively working on mobile DRAM
production to increase turnover and market share. Elpida's LPDDR3
schedule is only slightly behind that of the Korean suppliers. As for
Taiwanese makers, currently there is one supplier manufacturing LPDDR2
8Gb on the 3xnm process – hopefully they will be able to grab a share of
the market from the mobile memory leaders."
4Gb-8Gb is enough to meet memory requirements for Android 4.0 and
Windows 8. In the next 6 to 9 months, even if smartphone content per box
does not increase, because Q2 shipments were better than expected (an
8.8 per cent QoQ increase), demand will show a rising trend.
the commodity DRAM market continues to be in a state of oversupply, DRAM
makers are gradually reallocating capacity to speciality DRAM products.
As a result, DRAM contract price has risen to the current price of
Rs.1,020.41 ($20). However, in terms of cost structure, staying
profitable remains a challenge.
"Turning to mobile DRAM is a
logical option, but with so many makers jumping on the bandwagon, Q2
mobile DRAM contract price has fallen by 10-15 per cent QoQ. Even if
DRAM manufacturers continue to shrink process technology and increase
yield rate to lower cost, mobile DRAM price and profitability will
quickly approach that of commodity DRAM – mobile memory is inevitably
headed towards an era of low profitability."This article appears courtesy of
EE Times India.
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