Rising memory prices lift chip market outlook

April 09, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
A spike in DRAM and NAND flash average selling prices has prompted IC Insights to revise its growth forecast for the global chip market in 2017 to 11 percent, up from 5 percent.

IC Insights expects DRAM sales to grow 39 percent year on year in 2017 and NAND flash sales to increase 25 percent. The DRAM market will be driven by a 37 percent increase in the average selling price (ASP), which compares with an ASP decline of 12 percent in 2016. The NAND ASP is expected to increase by 22 percent in 2017 compared with a fall of 1 percent in 2016.

A pickup in DRAM demand from PC suppliers during the second half of 2016 caused a significant spike in the ASP of PC DRAM.  Currently, strengthening ASPs are also evident in the mobile DRAM market segment.

How DRAM and exchange rate changes have affected global IC market growth in recent years. Source: IC Insights.

The analyst said DRAM ASPs could surprise on the upside in 2017 as DRAM production is being slowed by the transition to sub-20nm feature sizes by DRAM producers.

The total IC market growth rate forecast for 2017, excluding the DRAM and NAND flash markets, is 4 percent.

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