PC DRAM pricing has doubled since the middle of 2016, said Gartner. A 4GB module that cost $12.50 has jumped to just under $25.
NAND flash ASPs increased sequentially in the second half of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.
Pricing for both DRAM and NAND is expected to peak in the second quarter of 2017, but relief is not expected until later in the year as content increases in key applications, such as smartphones, have vendors scrambling for supply.
“With memory vendors expanding their margins though 2017, the temptation will be to add new capacity,” says Gartner’s Jon Erensen, “we also expect to see China make a concerted effort to join the memory industry, setting the market up for a downturn in 2019.”
Unit production estimates for premium smartphones, graphics cards, video game consoles and automotive applications have improved and contributed to the stronger outlook in 2017, Gartner noted. In addition, electronic equipment with heavy exposure to DRAM and NAND flash saw semiconductor revenue estimates increase. This includes PCs, ultramobiles, servers and SSDs.
“The outlook for emerging opportunities for semiconductors in IoT and wearable electronics remains choppy with these markets still in the early stages of development and too small to have a significant impact on overall semiconductor revenue growth in 2017,” says Erensen.