Memory suppliers are currently carrying a relatively low level of inventory because of aggressive stock-up activities of clients across different application segments in 1H21, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. More specifically, inventories of DRAM suppliers and NAND Flash suppliers are averaging 3-4 weeks and 4-5 weeks, respectively. The overall procurement of server memory products is expected to intensify in 3Q21, so memory suppliers do not see the necessity in lowering quotes to drive sales. TrendForce forecasts that DRAM prices will rise further by 3-8% QoQ for 3Q21. On the other hand, thanks to the growing demand for enterprise SSDs and NAND Flash wafers, TrendForce has also corrected up the magnitude of the QoQ increase in NAND Flash prices for 3Q21 to 5-10% (compared with the previous projection of 3-8%).
Enterprise SSD procurement has been rising on the back of growing server shipments since 2Q21, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. In particular, the share of 8TB products in shipments of SSDs to data centers has shown the most noticeable growth, which is expected to persist through 3Q21. However, certain SSD components and parts may be in shortage due to insufficient foundry capacity. TrendForce is therefore revising the QoQ hikes in contract prices of enterprise SSDs for 3Q21 to 10-15% from the previous projection of 5-10%.
National governments in Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia, have been instituting increasingly stringent pandemic control measures in response to the intensifying COVID-19 pandemic in these countries. Remarkably, these countries are all hotspots in the electronic component supply chain, and Malaysia, home to many semiconductor packaging and testing facilities as well as passive component fabs, has now come under the international spotlight as a result. In particular, Malaysia’s MCO 3.0 (Movement Control Order 3.0) lockdown, which was extended on June 1, specifically excludes the semiconductor industry, as this industry boasts relatively high market revenue. As such, packaging and testing facilities are currently operating normally in Malaysia, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations.
Owing to soaring demands for various end devices, manufacturers have been ramping up their component procurement activities, and foundry capacities, as a result, have been in shortage since 2020, with various foundries raising their wafer prices and adjusting their product mixes to ensure profitability, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. Despite the result for 4Q20 being a high base for revenue comparison and power outage incidents at some fab sites, the quarterly total revenue of the top 10 foundries rose by 1% QoQ to a record high of US$22.75 billion in 1Q21.
The shipment performances of server manufacturers for 2021 have mainly been driven by applications in the post-pandemic new normal, including data center build-outs by major CSPs, accelerated cloud migration efforts by various enterprises, roadside server infrastructures for self-driving cars, and industry 4.0 technologies, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. However, TrendForce is revising its forecasted QoQ growth of global server shipment for 2Q21 from 19.6% down to 17.7%, as the integration of new Intel and AMD CPU platforms into branded servers has been slightly slowed down, and certain infrastructure projects in China have been deferred. TrendForce expects these unfulfilled server orders to be fulfilled in 2H21, thus driving up global server shipment for the upcoming quarters.