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Press Releases
Annual Growth of Server Shipments Forecast to Ebb to 3.7% in 2023, Annual Growth Rate of Average Installed Server DRAM Content to Likewise Slow, Says TrendForce

2022/10/18

Semiconductors

According to the latest TrendForce research, pandemic-induced materials shortages abated in the second half of this year and the supply and delivery of short-term materials has recovered significantly However, assuming materials supply is secure and demand can be met, the annual growth rate of server shipments in 2023 is estimated to be only 37%, which is lower than 51% in 2022 TrendForce indicates that this growth slowdown is due to three factors First, once material mismatch issues had eased, buyers began adjusting previously placed purchase order overruns Thus, ODM orders also decreased but this will not affect the 2022 shipment volume of whole servers for the time being Second, due to the impact of rising inflation and weakness in the overall economy, corporate capital investment may trend more conservative and IT-related investment will emphasize flexibility, such as the replacement of  certain server terminals with cloud services Third, geopolitical changes will drive the continuing emergence of demand for small-scale data centers and previous construction of hyperscale data centers will slow The recent ban on military/HPC servers issued by the US Department of Commerce on October 7 has a very low market share in terms of its application category, so the impact on the overall server market is limited at present However, if the scope of the ban is expanded further in the future, it will herald a more significant slowdown risk for China's server shipment momentum in 2023 From the perspective of whole device server DRAM content, since buyers will introduce new CPUs, Intel Sapphire Rapids and AMD Genoa, in 2023 and the cost of DDR5 DRAM is 30~40% higher than that of DDR4, the combination of CPU, Memory, and relevant new server model components will increase costs significantly As server terminal demand considerations will focus more on hardware costs, average installed whole device DRAM content will be limited Therefore, average annual content of server DRAM in 2023 is estimated to increase by only 7%, which is the first time this figure has fallen below 10% since 2016 If server DRAM prices continue making sharp corrections, average installed content expected to grow further in 2023 However, it is still possible that average server DRAM content will increase to 12% in 2023 because, in terms of server DRAM pricing in 2022, the prices received by Tier 1 customers in 3Q22 fell past a record low and this downward price trend will continue in 2023 If manufacturers are also willing to issue a larger price discount for high-content 64GB modules, this will have an opportunity to stimulate an increase in buyer purchasing power This situation will prompt some server applications to increase installed whole device DRAM content with services exhibiting the greatest demand for DRAM such as video streaming, public cloud, and private cloud increasing their installed content of server DRAM In terms of the average content of enterprise SSDs, as the 4Q22 price drop expands to 15-20% and easing oversupply in 2023 will remain difficult, quotations may continue to face corrections However, since the price of NAND Flash is more flexible than that of DRAM, price reduction will stimulate an increase in whole device installed content In addition, next-generation CPU platforms support PCIe 50 transmission and the manifold increase of transmission speed will also contribute to the growth of average installed content The annual growth rate of average enterprise SSD content is estimated to increase to 264% in 2023 For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
Virtual Production LED Video Wall Market Estimated to Reach US$431 Million in 2022, with Mainstream Applications in Entertainment and Audio-visual Industries, Says TrendForce

2022/10/17

LED

According to TrendForce's latest "2023 Global LED Video Wall Market Outlook and Price–Cost Analysis" report, the global LED video wall market for virtual production applications in 2021 was worth approximately US$283 million, an annual increase of 136% Despite being affected by inflation and the global economic downturn, the value of the virtual production LED video wall market is estimated to grow steadily to US$431 million in 2022, or 52% YoY, thanks to the adoption of virtual production technology by more studios According to TrendForce, LED video walls are replacing traditional green screens, greatly reducing post-production time and video production costs They are used in entertainment and audio-visual industries such as film, television, and commercials, and help increase the immersive experience of on-site participants This effect has become the reason for growth in LED video walls in the field of virtual production applications Virtual production focuses on high dynamic range (HDR), high frame refresh rate (HFR), and high grayscale (High Grayscale) imaging, emphasizing picture quality, color fineness, and smoothness This application is primarily used as a background display, tiled floor screen, and ceiling screen Due to the demands of filming a scene and budgetary constraints, high-end virtual production background display products require high brightness (>1,500 nits), high resolution (P12-P16), high grayscale (16 bits), high refresh rate (3,840/7,680 Hz), a high frame rate of 60 Hz, and compliance with DCI-P3 (wide color gamut standard) From the perspective of the supply chain, ROE Visual is currently ranked first in market share among virtual production display manufacturers, followed by INFiLED and SONY Other manufacturers include AOTO, Leyard/Planar, Absen, Samsung, and LG Driver IC suppliers include Macroblock, Chipone, Xm-Plus, Novatek, and SHIXIN In terms of controllers and image processors, manufacturers include Novastar, Brompton Technology, and Megapixel VR For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Optoelectronics Research, please click here, or email Ms Grace Li from the Sales Department at graceli@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
SSD Shipments through Global Distribution Channels Reached 127 Million Units in 2021, Up 11% YoY, Says TrendForce

2022/10/13

Semiconductors

Affected by tight wafer supply, lead time for SSD controller IC and PMIC components was prolonged to 32 weeks in 2021 All controller IC suppliers generally give priority to supplying NAND Flash manufacturers, so production at module factories could not meet SSD demand in the retail market during that time In 2H21, the supply of SSD-related components improved quarter by quarter and various module manufacturers boosted their SSD shipments in order to upsurge their annual performance According to TrendForce research, SSD shipments through global distribution channels reached 127 million units in 2021, with an annual growth rate of 11% This global SSD ranking is based on the shipment volume of module houses’ own in-house brands in the distribution channel market as a standard for calculation and NAND Flash manufacturers are not included NAND Flash manufacturer supply accounts for approximately 42% of the overall distribution channel market while module factory shipments account for approximately 58% When SSD-related components were hard to come by, NAND manufacturers’ supply chain management occupied a superior position compared to module houses, so NAND manufacturers’ market share in the overall distribution channel market increased compared with 2020 Looking at changes in the global SSD market in 2021, first, SSDs were in short supply due to a shortage of SSD related components in early 2021 and large module houses adopted a limited supply strategy in response as product prices rose This increase in overall profit also prompted more module houses to follow suit Some large module houses obtained support from SSD controller IC manufacturers due to their supply chain advantages, increasing their market share Second, due to an inability to obtain a supply of upstream wafer production capacity in recent years, newly introduced controller ICs from mainland China have become a bottleneck in the supply of SSD controllers for certain Chinese manufacturers Third, the pandemic festers and gaming-related demand remains strong, so the ranking of brands focused on gaming laptop-related products has also moved up The present ranking of SSD module manufacturers maintains a trend of the rich getting richer with the top three in terms of shipments remaining Kingston, ADATA, and Kimtigo Of the top three, only Kingston’s market share moved lower Due to their huge production demand, shipment volume was affected when wafer supply was too limited to meet order lead time The biggest change on this list is Transcend’s ranking rising sharply from tenth place in 2020 to sixth place, as well as newcomers Powev and GIGABYTE Transcend's long-term brand advantage comes from obtaining support from SSD controller IC manufacturers and the company’s shipments have grown significantly as a result In particular, its SSD products are specially designed to meet the needs of Apple's notebook upgrades As Apple's laptop market share grows, demand for relevant Transcend products increased and its SSD shipment market share rose to 5% in 2021 Benefiting from its long-term operation in the high-end gaming market and diversified product solutions, Powev entered the top ten as demand for high-end performance and game-related products retains strong growth momentum Gigabyte also benefited from the company's efforts to expand the supply of game-related components with its motherboard products driving SSD shipments Penetration rate of PCIe specifications continues to rise, global market disposition heralds future growth momentum of various brands The pandemic continuously disrupted the supply of SSDs in 2021 In addition to the supply of SSD controller ICs, a diversified distribution of production centers was also a key factor in enhancing the momentum of shipments Looking to the future, the growth momentum of module factories focused on selling SSD interfaces will gradually shift from SATA to PCIe However, compatibility issues are also more complicated than that of SATA SSDs due to the manifold increase of PCIe interface transmission speeds Providing comprehensive services to assist in SSD product upgrades can enhance brand recognition and continue to boost shipments TrendForce believes, in addition to cost, the ability to provide comprehensive global production and sales services will be an important factor in continuing to increase PCIe SSD shipments in the future Technology of storage products from Chinese enterprises continues to improve, the goal of localizing SSD production in China is just around the corner TrendForce has also observed that in the SSD supply chain, the proportion of localization in China is increasing Especially in controller IC technology, a number of manufacturers have gradually embarked on PCIe controller IC research and development and some module manufacturers have even partnered with Chinese servers to develop enterprise SSDs After Intel started gradually withdrawing from Optane SSD supply, an existing Chinese manufacturer, DapuStor, has already adopted Kioxia XL Flash to launch an alternative solution with similar performance, hoping to capture market orders in this storage class memory (SCM) after Intel's withdrawal The above development clearly shows the role of Chinese manufacturers in the SSD supply chain gaining strength and there will be opportunities in the future to continue seizing market share through upstream and downstream integration For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
US Department of Commerce Strengthens Restrictions on China, Future Chinese Server Demand May Face Negative Growth, Says TrendForce

2022/10/12

Semiconductors

Current US sanctions on China have extended their reach to strike at HPC and sectors such as aerospace, automotive market, and military industry TrendForce indicates, the market for high-end computing chips (including CPU, GPU, etc) has borne the brunt of these restrictions at this stage, while those providing related storage such as DRAM and NAND Flash also face potential supply disruption At present, this not only includes domestic companies in mainland China but also extends to related US-based suppliers Among them, server companies that rely on high-intensity computing will face greater scrutiny Impact analysis on server terminal shipments In terms of server terminal shipments, since relevant component suppliers have not yet been able to confirm whether services provided by the four major cloud service providers (CSPs) in China, Baidu, ByteDance, Alibaba, and Tencent, involve military use, before CSPs sign MOUs (memoranda of understanding), component manufacturers may temporarily delay shipments to the Chinese market However, TrendForce believes, due to the fact that current CSP buyers’ component inventories remain sufficient, the short-term impact on global server market shipment performance is relatively low and long-term impact depends on the evolution of the US Department of Commerce's rules Huawei and Sugon, two companies that have received attention at this stage due to the US ban, have previously withdrawn from the x86 server market and turned into cloud business providers and whole server delivery has been transferred to other domestic OEMs and outsourced computing power leasing, so as not to be affected by sanctions However, due to the previous CPU ban, Sugon has turned to AMD to obtain authorization for localized chips, which may be significantly curtailed by this ban In 2022, Sugon's market share in the overall server market will be approximately 23% and 85% of the Chinese market TrendForce believes, it cannot be ruled out that relevant Chinese OEMs may have server products that may be rendered to government supercomputing centers in the future Inspur, H3C, and Lenovo will face more exacting future scrutiny and, if consequences intensify, the mainland Chinese industrial chain may feel direct effects Although commercial servers are not currently on the list of directly restricted items, if friction between the United States and China intensifies in the future, it cannot be ruled out that the US Department of Commerce will add more potentially risky Chinese server OEMs and CSPs onto the UVL list If certification cannot be realized within 60 days of being included in the UVL list, these entities will be included on the entity list The worst case scenario will be a future trend of negative growth in Chinese server demand Since the restrictions enumerated in this ban are primarily concentrated in the HPC field, the greatest factor affecting Sugon is the company largely providing server OEM to government departments including in supercomputers, military aerospace, and government server farms At present, there are 8 national-level supercomputing centers in mainland China and the supercomputer located in the center of Wuxi is the headquarters of China's self-developed chips including the self-developed Sunway TaihuLight As the US Department of Commerce continues to strengthen its sanctions, China's supercomputing technology and domestic research capabilities will be severely damaged in the future Impact analysis on GPU and CPU sectors At present, companies utilizing high-end graphics cards are primarily concentrated in the HPC sector In terms of CSPs, Alibaba and Baidu are the largest companies in mainland China These two CSP companies account for up to 60% of the market share of GPU usage in China Before the previous ban at the end of August, Chinese CSP operators had to submit purchase applications before procurement but they could not apply at all after the ban However, based on the premise that buyer inventory levels on hand remain high and the supply of goods through distribution channels is sufficient, no effect on demand is forecast until 1H23 Nonetheless, it will be a challenge in the long-term Since the ban expressly prohibits supercomputing center applications such as HPC, TrendForce assesses that GPU servers used by supercomputing centers will be directly affected, which accounts for up to 30% of China's GPU market In terms of chip computing performance control, ECCNs 3A090 and 4A090 are newly added sanctioned items and chips with a total processing performance of more than 4,800 (inclusive) calculated by TOPS will be restricted GPUs are usually used to directly assist in performing complex operations Basically, NVIDIA's A100 PCIe Gen4 and AMD's MI250 OAM Module exceed the 4,800 limit With new high computing performance products restricted in the future, development of server acceleration computing in China will take a hit However, the computing performance of most server CPU products is generally lower than the provisions of the ban Only Chinese-made chips such as Tianjin Haiguang face direct restrictions and other CPUs such as Intel and AMD servers will not be subject to prohibition At this stage, Intel and AMD will sign MOUs with relevant mainland Chinese manufacturers to ensure that related products cannot be used in military and supercomputing fields before shipment In today's server CPUs, the computing performance of the commonly used Intel Ice Lake CPU series does not reach the limit imposed by US sanctions Impact analysis on the memory sector At present, Samsung and SK hynix have also suspended their supply of product to Sugon If Sugon can clarify procured memory is not used for supercomputing, domestic server products, etc, the parties will be able to reach a consensus for shipment In the long run, Korean companies are evaluating whether they need a written commitment from each customer to disavow using purchasing memory products in supercomputers Therefore, some memory shipments may be affected before documents are signed The industry generally believes that market inventory remains relatively abundant and there will be no substantial damage to the market in the short term As far as SSD is concerned, the greatest utilization remains in the category of AI/DL (Deep Learning), since most of the data trained from DL must be stored in faster and more convenient SSDs for use in inference scenarios If the suspension of shipments caused by the current ban cannot be rectified by relevant buyer agreements, the development of Chinese server manufacturers in related AI/DL fields may be hamstrung and a calamitous decline in the market penetration rate of enterprise SSDs from international manufacturers cannot be ruled out Impact analysis on the networking sector There are three reasons for a relatively minor impact assessment on the well-connected suppliers in the networking sector First, there are numerous networking suppliers and many of them are in China Since the demand for key components is relatively small, Chinese suppliers should be able to keep up Second, the mainstream process in this field is a mature process and future expansion is less restricted Third, from the perspective of supplier shipments, after foundry assembly, packaging, and testing, there are multiple distribution channels for the circulation of the final product and it will be difficult to determine whether terminals are military use However, from the perspective of long-term impact, there is a high probability that Chinese manufacturers will give priority to China's local supply chain in the future to ensure future supply This move will undoubtedly deepen the resistance of other suppliers' shipments to China, so it is necessary to open up multiple shipping channels to stabilize market share For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

Press Releases
Memory Manufacturers Focus on CXL Memory Expander Products to Surmount AI/ML Server DRAM Hardware Limitations, Says TrendForce

2022/10/11

Semiconductors

According to TrendForce's latest server-related report, the original goal of CXL (Compute Express Link) was to integrate performance between various xPUs and thereby optimize hardware costs required for AI and HPC, breaking through original hardware limitations CXL support remains sourced to the CPU and, since the server CPUs that support CXL functionality such as Intel Sapphire Rapids and AMD Genoa only support the CXL 11 specification at this time, the product that this specification can realize first is CXL Memory Expander Therefore, TrendForce believes, among various CXL-related products, CXL Memory Expander will become a precursor product and this product is also the most closely related to DRAM Assisted by CXL memory pooling functionality, AI and HPC expected to surmount hardware limitations and drive whole server DRAM consumption However, CXL 11 is currently only practical as memory expansion in terms of DRAM and memory pooling will not be implemented until CXL 20 At this stage, average RDIMM usage of a dual-socket CPU server is approximately 10-12 units (maximum 16 units), meaning the number of RDIMM slots and channels are not being fully utilized Thus, general computing servers still have room to upgrade their original RDIMM in the short term and only applications that require AI and HPC will have CXL requirements According to TrendForce research, the consumption of CXL memory expanders has a limited impact on the overall DRAM market and CXL memory expanders are products created to optimize HPC performance in the short term However, under existing applications, a portion of DRAM in whole servers will still idle and foster unused capacity during operation, leading to the data center industry paying for the cost of excess DRAM In the long run, the average DRAM capacity of whole servers will increase year by year as applications become more diverse and complicate However, if CXL memory pooling becomes practical in the future, internal xPU memory resources will be utilized effectively TrendForce believes that CXL memory pooling functionality will reduce the demand for RDIMM modules purchased by buyers, which will slow the growth rate of installed server DRAM capacity in individual servers in coming years The CXL Consortium ultimately hopes to use this interface to effectively utilize the resources of every device, thereby breaking through AI and HPC hardware bottlenecks With the assistance of CXL, the development of AI and HPC will accelerate according to model complexity and contribute to the shipment volume of related models Therefore, from this perspective, CXL will drive the average capacity of DRAM at the whole server level (calculated as combined RDIMM and CXL memory expander) However, in terms of the annual growth rate of DRAM consumption on servers, growth will slow since CXL will efficiently use DRAM installed in whole devices Buyers who will desire a substantial amount of CXL functionality are mainly focused on high-end computing machinery, so cloud service providers will be major adopters TrendForce has also observed that some OEMs ship models to their HPC computing customers requiring large-capacity DRAM expansion, which will also create potential adopters of this product Montage, Marvell, Microchip revenue expected to ascend again due to the rise of CXL At present, the CXL memory expander developed by manufacturers employs DDR5 but remains limited by the speed of the PCIe 50 interface at this stage and output speed is only marginally equivalent to DDR4 DDR5 will be able to realize its full speed after CPUs support PCIe 60 or higher specifications in the future From the perspective of CXL memory expander structure, a CXL controller is required in addition to DRAM CXL controller manufacturers include Montage, Marvell, Microchip, etc Therefore, the rise of CXL not only directly drives controller supplier revenue, but also does not rule out a self-development model similar to that of module houses or cloud service providers may appear in the future to produce CXL memory expanders after preparing controllers and DRAM To sum up, the stagnation in current server performance is expected to be improved due to the development of CXL, which will effectively increase the usage of DRAM in servers while avoiding a spike in idling costs In the future, the CXL20 specification will reform the existing hardware bottleneck and, with the assistance of memory pooling, CXL will be able to exhibit greater advantages As applications become more diverse and complex, high-intensity operations such as HPC and AI will rely on xPU more than ever With shared memory pooling, model design can break free of hardware bottlenecks and continue to build more complex architectures In addition, the introduction of CXL will be popularized on the strength of future functions, especially in the large-scale introduction of cloud services into the industry This specification can better optimize communication between servers because CXL establishes high-speed communications interconnectivity and these interactions help to expand the application of computing power between parallel servers and optimizes the total cost of ownership (TCO) For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

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