Analyst: DRAM resurgence coming…if you’re an optimist

March 2, 2009 – The DRAM market will finally hit bottom to start this year, and gradually pick up through the year with “outstanding quarterly growth,” according to a new analysis from IC Insights.

The trough for the market will be in 1Q09 to about $4.2B, the analyst firm notes. For the rest of the year, look for growth in the teens to low-twenties range: 17% in 2Q to $4.9B, 21% in 3Q to $5.9B, and 15% in 4Q to $6.8B. By year’s end DRAM sales will have surged 63% from their low point in 1Q, the firm notes.

What’s behind the bounceback in DRAM? Tough times are pushing vendors to shutter 200mm fab capacity, and some vendors filing for bankruptcy (Qimonda already, others possibly soon), supplies are tightening and realigning with demand. The result will be more stable ASPs, and perhaps pricing will spike up, the group notes. Spot prices for some devices (512Mb and 1Gb) have already increased 40% since the beginning of the year.

NAND too will enjoy some resurgence in 2009, though not as much as DRAM — NANAD sales in 4Q will be about 16% higher than in 1Q.

Even with the strong steady progress, it should be noted that 2009 will still be a down year for the memory market — DRAM sales down about -12% ($22.3B vs. $25.2B), and NAND sales about -24%. Still, IC Insights notes, it’s up to individuals to see which pattern they choose — a low-teens downturn over a longer period, or what seems to be a significant bounceback coming in the next few quarters.

DRAM and NAND flash memory quarterly forecasts. (Source: IC Insights)


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