SAN FRANCISCO — Global DRAM sales set an all-time record of more than $16.5 billion in the second quarter even as the DRAM shortage that has gripped the electronics supply chain slackened somewhat, according to a market watcher.
DRAMeXchange, which tracks memory chip prices, said the DRAM shortage was not as severe in the second quarter as it was in the first quarter. Downstream OEM customers were able to gradually extend their DRAM inventories, according to the firm.
Still, DRAM revenue grew by nearly 17 percent and average selling prices (ASPs) for PC and server DRAM each increased by more than 10 percent sequentially during the second quarter. The ASP of mobile DRAM products increased by less than 5 percent, largely because many Chinese smartphone brands lowered their annual shipment targets, according to DRAMeXchange.
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"The DRAM market benefitted from the upswing in ASPs and continuing progress in suppliers' technology migrations," said Avril Wu, research manager of DRAMeXchange, in a press statement. “At the same time, suppliers do not appear to have plans to expand their production capacities in a significant scale between now and the end of the year."
The global DRAM market is enjoying a watershed year thanks to increased demand across a broader range of applications coupled with tight supply. Market research firm IC Insights Inc. projects that DRAM sales will increase by an eye-popping 55 percent this year, driving the overall semiconductor market to growth of 16 percent.
New releases of flagship smartphones from top-tier brands, including the next Apple iPhone, are expected to trigger another wave of mobile demand in the third quarter, according to DRAMeXchange. The firm expects DRAM prices in general to remain on an upward trajectory for the remainder of the year.
—Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.