DRAM & NAND - Q4, 2018 monitors

2018 DRAM & NAND markets: the end of an incredible multi-year rally

Extracted from: DRAM & NAND services – Memory Research – Yole Développement, 2019


  • Without a doubt, these megatrends have had a significant impact on the semiconductor industry, especially the memory markets.
  • Yole announces a US$ 165B stand-alone memory market in 2018, with more than US$160B attributable to the DRAM & NAND market segments.
  • The DRAM market declined abruptly in Q4-18 after ten consecutive quarters of growth.
  • NAND market conditions softened dramatically in Q4-18, despite Q4 traditionally being a strong seasonal quarter.
  • Despite a surprisingly weak finish to the year, there is optimism that the NAND market is close to a turning point.

LYON, France – March 27, 2019: The combined DRAM and NAND memory markets experienced a period of extraordinary growth over the past several years, driven by important megatrends including mobility, cloud computing, AI , and IoT. Without a doubt, these megatrends have had a significant impact on the semiconductor industry, especially the memory markets.
Today, Yole Développement (Yole) announces a US$ 165 billion stand-alone memory market in 2018, with more than US$160 billion attributable to the DRAM and NAND market segments. Yole anticipates that long-term demand, driven by these megatrends, will result in memory continuing to increase its share of the overall semiconductor market. In addition to growing demand, prudent supply management from the industry leaders (e.g. Samsung, Micron, etc.) over the past two years enabled combined DRAM and NAND revenue growth of 107%, up from $78 billion in 2016…

DRAM market stumbles as datacenter demand disappears…
“The fourth quarter of the year is typically a seasonally strong quarter for DRAM demand but Q4 2018 broke with historical trends due to relatively weak demand in both mobile and datacenter,” asserts Mike Howard, VP of DRAM and Memory Research at Yole. “The weak mobile market was not a big surprise. Handset vendors have struggled over the last few years to offer new features that entice customers enough to upgrade their existing smartphones.”…

Is the NAND market close to a turning point?
“Despite a surprisingly weak finish to the year, there is optimism that the NAND market is close to a turning point as elasticity is driving rising NAND storage content across several applications including client SSDs and smartphones,” explains Walt Coon, VP of NAND and Memory Research at Yole. “The pricing environment remains soft early in 2019, but conditions are improving as demand begins to recover – there is potential for tight market conditions in 2H-19, coinciding with seasonal demand recovery and the expected rebound in datacenter demand….”

Full analysis is today available on i-Micronews.com.

Although both the DRAM and NAND markets have softened dramatically after an unprecedented period of growth, the long-term outlook for both markets remains bright. 2019 is going to be a difficult year for memory, as suppliers manage rising inventories while waiting for demand to recover. As the memory market continue to evolve, the industry faces many important questions, including: 
 • When will the DRAM and NAND markets shift from oversupply to undersupply, and vice-versa? How will supplier profitability be impacted?
 • What are the limits of DRAM and NAND scaling? How will the memory suppliers react as scaling and 3D stacking limits approach?
 • What are some potential impacts from new entrants from China on the memory markets? What is the likely timing of new suppliers emerging?
 • Will memory capital expenditures continuing to rise? Will rising capital intensity climb too high and threaten supplier stability?
 • Will the NAND market eventually consolidate, similar to DRAM? How might this play out?
 • How does price elasticity of demand impact the memory markets? How are these impacts different between DRAM and NAND?
 • …

Yole’s memory team answers these questions and provides its vision of the industry evolution, on a quarterly basis with its DRAM and NAND Quarterly Market Monitor services. A dedicated team is working with the leading memory players to collect their vision of the industry status and get a deep understanding of the market growth and technological evolution. Yole’s memory analysts, combining over 50-years of experience in memory and semiconductor-related fields, invite you to discover a clear picture of the industry each quarter, with an accurate analysis of the market evolution, including key figures and results from the memory leaders.

Yole’s analysts attend a selection of key conferences and trade shows all year long. These events provide opportunities for Yole’s memory experts to share their vision of the industry and debate with leading players.
To organize a meeting with them, feel free to contact us. Contact: Fanny Vitrey, Marketing & Communication Assistant, Yole Développement.

For more information about our memory products and services, visit the Memory section on i-micronews.com.

AI : Artificial Intelligence
IoT : Internet of Things

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