Mobile DRAM bit demand is set to exceed 400 million gigabits (Gb) in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 35.5% on quarter and over 70% on year, according to Digitimes Research.
DRAM bit demand for smartphones will rise to 334 million Gb in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 39.1% sequentially and 92.1% on year, while that for tablets will increase 41.9% on quarter and 40.5% from a year ago to 65.8 million Gb, Digitimes Research said.
Mobile DRAM will spur a 26.8% increase in overall DRAM bit demand in 2013, Digitimes Research noted. Overall mobile DRAM bit demand is forecast to reach 1.28 billion Gb in 2013, up 74.8% from 733.5 million Gb in 2012, Digitimes Research said.
Overall niche-market DRAM bit demand will come to 502.8 million Gb in the fourth quarter of 2013, representing growth of 29.1% on quarter and 61.7% on year, Digitimes Research projected. In all of 2013, the bit demand is forecast to total about 1.53 billion Gb, up 65% from 926.8 million Gb in 2012, Digitimes Research said.
The overall DRAM market, which consists of PC- and server-use DRAM, and niche-market memory, is forecast to consume 4.145 billion Gb in 2013, according to Digitimes Research.
The DRAM spot price, which moved sideways for months, has been skyrocketing since the fire accident in SK Hynix’s Plant in Wuxi, China. In particular, that of the DDR3 2Gb (1,666MHz) has jumped by over 43% when compared to before the accident.
According to DRAMeXchange’s data made available on September 22, the spot price of the DDR3 2Gb (1,666MHz) increased more than 43% in two weeks to reach US$2.277. The price has continued its upward trend this month. On September 5, the day following the fire accident, it jumped 19%.
Prices are expected to continue to rise as SK Hynix works to repair FAB factory in Wuxi.
The fire that damaged SK Hynix Semiconductor's FAB plant lasted almost two hours. The Wuxi facility accounts for 10% of the world's DRAM production and produces almost half of the 260,000 memory wafers Hynix makes every month, according to TrendForce.
The price of 2Gbit DRAM chips, commonly used in desktop and laptop memory modules, has passed the $2 mark, representing a 27.6% increase since the fire, said Avril Wu, an analyst at DRAMeXchange.
"Based on our current evaluation, this fire is going to impact supply sharply. Therefore, the price of both spot price and contract price is likely to keep going up," Wu said.
While DRAM equipment spending dropped by 35 percent in 2011 and 25 percent in 2012, the SEMI data shows that DRAM fab equipment spending will increase by 17 percent in 2013 and at least 30 percent in 2014. An increase of about 2 to 3 percent for installed capacity for DRAM in 2014 is small but remarkable, given that the industry has not added any new DRAM capacity for years, and actually cutback capacity between 2011 and 2013.