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21 February 2018

Semiconductor Lead Time News (February 2018)

Global spending in the semiconductor sector hit a five-year high last year, rising an incredible 17% when compared to figures from 2016. Analysts appear to agree that the inflated sales numbers were significantly impacted by market availability diminishing over the last twelve months, leaving purchasers facing a combination of spiralling costs and ever-increasing lead times.

Thankfully, the entire sector has entered a period of stability in recent months. Our information indicates that little has changed in the past four weeks, with many lead times remaining static as head towards the end of Q12018.

Yet despite marking conditions plateauing after a turbulent 2017, we have noticed some potentially troublesome warning signs. Take discrete semiconductors, for example as overall availability has decreased, with many manufacturers raising their lead times to a high of forty-weeks.

For a full breakdown, read our complete market report below

In short

  • The opto sector is stabilising, with improvements expected later in Q12018
  • Many manufacturers increase lead times for discrete product groups
  • All Micron flash lines are now on allocation
  • Reports suggest NXP could raise prices

Analog

The situation in the analog sector continues to be tough thanks to high commodity prices and many lead times standing at more than twenty-weeks. These issues are nothing new, though, and represent a period of market stability rather than volatility.

Discretes

Similar to the analog market sector, the supply of discrete product groups remains tight.

Towards the end of 2017, we noted that some franchise distributors were beginning to caution customers that prices rises were to be expected during the Q12018. Our information indicates that many suppliers have indeed increased pricing in recent weeks.

To compound matters, lead times have also gone up. The majority of lead times at the likes of Infineon, ST and Fairchild/ON Semiconductor now stand at thirty-weeks and above, with lines being quoted out at a minimum of twenty-five weeks. This is obviously something that will need to be accounted for.

One of the biggest rises that we have seen has come from Infineon products, The German-based manufacturer has increased lead times for many of its MOSFET, RF devices and rectifier lines to forty-weeks, a rise of sixteen weeks when compared to January’s report.

Another major rise that needs highlighting is Nexperia’s decision to raise lead times for its RF devices to forty-weeks. This move brings Nexperia more in line with its competitors, though it is worth noting that comparable Broadcom products are being quoted at fifty-weeks.

It goes without saying but given these sizeable increases, we would encourage OEMs to expand their purchasing portfolios and check with independent distributors to secure stock without having to wait.

Memory

2017 was the year that saw memory pricing skyrocket as demand far outstripped supply and long-standing issues remain in this highly competitive market sector.

Since our last update, we have received news that all Micron has placed its SDRAM lines on allocation, meaning that all its memory products are now available on an allocation-only basis.

Opto

Although various products remain on allocation, the opto sector is beginning to show some signs of improvement. Many sources are predicting that the current market shortages will begin to ease by the end of Q12018, though lead times for coupler devices will, unfortunately, remain high for the foreseeable future.

DSP & Microcontrollers

The lead times for DSPs and microcontrollers (MCUs) remain high, with the sector average standing at twenty-five weeks,

We have also been made aware that NXP is planning to implement a price increase in the coming months to counter rising manufacturing and material costs. This is likely to be passed on through authorised distribution channels.

Franchise sources continue to demand long-term visibility from OEMs to secure stock on long lead time parts. We therefore still advise purchasers to consult with independent distributors and explore contingency plans.

Programmable Logic

Yet again, there has been no movement when it comes to the availability or lead times of programmable logic parts. Analysts expect the current situation to remain the same for the next few weeks.

Standard Logic

The standard logic market is still tense, with lead times remaining at high levels once again. However, despite previous predictions to the contrary, lead times have settled down.


As an independent stocking distributor, Cyclops Electronics can help purchasers of electronic components avoid lead time and allocation issues. With 177,232 stocked lines and access to available stock around the world, we can help you secure the parts you need, when you need them.


17 January 2018

Electronic Component Lead Time News (January 2018)

Our information indicates that the semiconductor market has entered a period of stability, though as to how long this lasts remains to be seen as there are reports of price and lead time increases later on in 2018.

In the short-term though, lead times across most product sectors have remained static. There are some noticeable changes, though compared to recent months, these are thankfully the exception rather than the norm. Perhaps the most noteworthy update is that due to an increase by STMicroelectronics, lead times for all discrete IGBT lines are now at thirty-eight weeks and above.

In short

  • Delivery situation for discrete products remain constrained
  • Lead times for discrete IGBTs now at thirty-eight weeks
  • Osram cuts lead times of high power LEDs
  • Both programmable and standard logic markets are stable 

Analog

As has been the case in recent months, the market situation for analog products remains tough. However, despite the ongoing problems regarding lead times, manufacturers in this sector have been able to keep them stable since our last update in November. The likes of NXP, ON Semiconductor and Texas Instruments have all been able to lock lead times, which is providing buyers with some level of certainty when planning production runs throughout the year.

It must be noted, though, that some franchised sources are warning that a price increase for Nexperia and ON Semiconductor lines may just be around the corner. We would advise people to check with their regular supplier(s) for further information.

Discretes

For the majority of devices in this sector, the delivery situation remains extremely tight. We are not expecting to see a change in the immediate future. Due to this, however, market analysts are predicting a price hike in Q1 2018.

On a slightly positive note, lead times have remained static – except for STMicroelectronics’ IGBT lines. The Swiss-based manufactured has increased its maximum lead time to forty-two weeks, a rise of four compared to last month’s data.

Memory

Long-standing supply issues remain in the memory market, with the entire sector being beset by high pricing due to demand outstripping supply. In response to this, Micron has added its DDR and DDR2 products to its long list of memory lines available on an allocation-only basis.

Opto

After some fluctuations last month, the opto sector entered a period of stability over the Christmas period, with only two listings showing a change from our November update.

Already plagued by lead time issues across the board, Vishay has increased the lead time for its coupler products to twenty-four weeks, a rise of four weeks. However, despite having various products on allocation, Osram has cut the lead time for its high power LEDs to twenty weeks, a substantial reduction from November’s figure of forty-four weeks.

Other manufacturers, such as ON Semiconductor, Samsung and Toshiba, have kept their lead times static. Signs are that market availability is improving and some sources are predicting that the number of product lines on allocation will ease during the first three months of 2018.

DSPs & Microcontrollers

Lead times for DSPs and microcontrollers (MCUs) are stabilising, albeit it at a very high level. The average lead time now stands at twenty-five weeks, though for 32-bit devices, buyers can expect to be quoted a thirty-week lead time from franchise distributors.

As well as continuing to require long-term purchasing plans from their customers to secure stock, franchise distributors are now also warning of a price rise at some point in 2018. Our reports indicate that NXP is intending to implement widespread increases, due to spiralling material and manufacturing costs.

Programmable Logic

Both lead times and general availability for programmable logic lines remain good, with our information indicating that Intel has cut its standard lead times over the new year.

Standard Logic

The market for standard logic remains tight, though lead times have stabilised, despite predictions to the contrary.


21 November 2017

Electronic Component Lead Time News (November 2017)

According to our information, many semiconductor manufacturers have upped their maximum lead times during Q3 2017. Given that the first half of the calendar year was dominated by the threat of widespread component shortages and a real threat of allocation, purchasing departments are unlikely to meet the news with much joy.

A prime example of this would be STMicroelectronics (ST), Europe’s biggest semiconductor firm and a major manufacturer of analog, discrete, memory and microcontroller product lines. ST has recently increased its maximum lead time to forty-two weeks, a rise of four weeks when compared to data from September.

Just like ST, NXP has been plagued by lead time problems. Some lines are now being quoted with a thirty-nine week wait – an increase of fifteen weeks!

Taking a closer look at individual product categories, we have noticed that there has been a lot of fluctuation within the discrete market, while the availability of standard logic and certain memory components remains tight.

Also, due to consistently high demand, franchise companies are beginning to insist that their customers provide a long-term purchasing plan to secure and receive MCU and DSP lines.

In short

  • Lead times for discrete product groups fluctuate, check each manufacturer individually.
  • Long-term demand visibility for DSPs and MCUs required from OEMs to meet delivery from franchise sources.
  • Analog market situation remains stable, albeit with constrained supply. 
  • ST increase lead times for a variety of lines. The maximum figure is now up at forty-two weeks.

Analog

Despite the overall analog market situation being stable over the past couple of months, general availability remains tight due to high lead times.

ON Semiconductor, ST and Texas Instruments are all posting lead times in excess of twenty weeks, with voltage regulators and interface product groups the hardest to secure in a short period of time.

Discretes

The market for discrete devices has seen a lot of fluctuation, with many of the sectors biggest manufacturers making multiple lead time changes. The delivery situation remains extremely tight and we are not expecting to see any improvements until early 2018.

Toshiba has increased the lead time for its Power MOSFETs by sixteen weeks. Buyers placing orders today through franchise channels can now expect a forty-week wait before they receive stock.

ST has also posted widespread increases, with nearly every product line negatively impacted. The maximum lead time now stands at forty-two weeks, up from the thirty-eight weeks recorded last month.

On a positive note, both ON Semiconductor and Nexperia have made significant improvements regarding their lead times. Nexperia has cut its lead times by an average of five weeks while ON Semiconductor has reduced its maximum lead times for its discrete products families to twenty-nine weeks, down from last month’s high of thirty-five.

Memory

Micron’s DDR3 and Toshiba’s NAND flash lines remain on allocation, with no timeframe for their return to general availability in the foreseeable future.

Besides these two long-standing issues, the memory market remains stable – though inflated costs continue to be problematic.

Opto

Overall, the optical sector is showing some signs of stability, though lead times for certain automotive and coupler lines are on the up. A prime example of this is Toshiba’s decision to increase lead times for its coupler products from twenty-four to forty-four weeks.

Seismic shifts like this are luckily in the minority. The majority of manufacturers – including Osram, Samsung and Vishay – have kept lead times constant.

DSP & Microcontrollers

Lead times for DSPs and Microcontrollers (MCUs) are continuing to increase, with demand remaining high across all manufacturers.

Microchip, ST and Texas Instruments have all managed to keep lead times stable, however, both Infineon and NXP have raised theirs.

Infineon’s rises are standardised across their lines, with the lead times for both 16- and 32-bit devices increasing by four weeks. The same cannot be said of NXP’, with the Dutch manufacturer posting a marked increase of seventeen weeks for its Kinetis 32-bit family.

Franchise distributors are now requiring customers to share long-term purchasing plans with them to secure stock for pre-determined delivery dates. We would advise anybody who requires production quantities or immediate stock of microcontroller line.

Programmable Logic

Both lead times and general availability for programmable logic lines have remained static since our last update.

Standard Logic

Thanks to continued tight market conditions, ON Semiconductor and Nexperia have increased their lead times by six weeks. Standard logic lines from these manufacturers now stand at twenty-six weeks.

Per our information, there is no sign of the market easing in the coming months, so we would recommend that you plan your long-term purchasing plans accordingly.


03 November 2017

Qualcomm-NXP Merger Likely To Occur in 2018, CEO Admits

Speaking recently, Richard Clemmer, CEO of NXP Semiconductors, conceded that Qualcomm’s impending acquisition of NXP is likely to be completed in Q1 2018.

“We are working diligently with Qualcomm and the various regulators towards a successful close this year. However, at this point, the timetable is very tight and there is a possibility for the closing to occur in early 2018,” he said.

The admission reverses the long-held public position that the deal will be formally signed off by the end of this calendar year.

Clemmer's comments are the first acknowledgement of the much-publicised challenges that both NXP and Qualcomm have faced in recent months. Although the announcement of the acquisition was announced last year, regulatory bodies are yet to give it the green light.

Regulators in both Europe and Asia are seeking concessions and want the two companies to unload assets, including patents on certain designs and technologies. One major issue that is yet to be resolved involves the European Commission’s (EC) investigation into the acquisition amidst concerns about potential price rises and a reduction in innovation.

Last month, the Reuters news agency reported that Qualcomm would be willing to relinquish some of its patents to receive EC antitrust support. Despite this advancement, it is still unclear which of NXP’s standard essential patents will be sold off to a third party, something that is believed to be delaying the deal being authorised.

There is also concern among European chip vendors as the Qualcomm-NXP acquisition appears to be focused on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. NXP co-invented NFC and rival chip makers are worried that Qualcomm could bundle NXP’s existing NFC functions within its own application processors and effectively gain a monopoly of the lucrative smartphone market.

In order to alleviate said fears, Qualcomm has reportedly agreed to not take legal action against third parties regarding these patents, except for “defensive purposes”. Whether this concession will satisfy rivals and regulators alike is unknown.

Meanwhile, the progress of the deal through the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) is unknown, though many regard MOFCOM as the toughest regulatory body to deal with. There have been some murmurings, however, with lawyer Ashely Chang telling EE Times that MOFCOM could “throw a wrench” in the works by actively prolonging any decision.


19 October 2017

Electronic Component Lead Time News (October 2017)

Lead times have generally remained constant since our previous update last month but major Discrete and Memory product lines have increased across the board. Discrete manufacturers such as Infineon, On Semiconductor, TI and Vishay are plagued with long lead times and low availability, quoting sizeable increases of up to forty weeks. Supply constraints remain and we would advise purchasing departments to plan in advance or look elsewhere to secure supply.

The Memory sector sees increased lead times once again. Toshiba has had to put their NAND flash products on allocation due to a pause in production in its Japanese plant. Supply constraints remain, with franchise distributors warning that they may be unable to deal with unforcasted demand.

In short

  • Lead times for nearly all discrete devices increase.
  • ST doubles the lead time for its MCU & DSP units. Now at thirty weeks.
  • Toshiba places NAND flash memory products back on allocation.
  • Microchip increase lead times for programmable logic devices to twenty-four weeks – a rise of sixteen weeks.

Analog

The entire analog market has remained stable since our last update (September 2017).

On the surface, this is good news for purchasers looking to source analog products in the coming months. However, the lead times are generally quite high, especially so for certain ON Semiconductor and TI product families, so we would advise buyers to plan well in advance.

Discretes

Unfortunately, lead times have risen across the board with most the major manufacturers posting sizeable increases in the last month.

Those that have enlarged their lead times are Infineon (up to forty weeks), Nexperia (twenty-seven), ON Semiconductor (thirty-two), ST (thirty-eight), TI (twenty-eight), Toshiba (twenty-four) and Vishay (forty).

Infineon, the German semiconductor manufacturer, has posted the biggest increases. The lead times for its thyristor product groups have nearly double, up from twenty-four weeks to forty. Its IGBT devices are now available after a thirty-six week wait, up from twenty-two.

This will do little to help buyers who have had to contend with a constricted market for the majority of 2017 and were hoping of seeing some marked improvements during Q4.

Once again, we would advise you to check with independent distributors to secure immediate stock of discrete products.

Memory

Stories that Toshiba had to pause production circulated earlier this week and those rumours appear to have some substance as the Japanese manufacturer has placed its NAND flash products back on allocation.

Elsewhere, the memory market does appear to be stable, though Micron’s DDR3 devices remain available on an allocation-only basis, as they have been for the past few months.

Optical

There has been no change since our last update in September. Lead times remain relatively low, given overall market conditions.

DSP & Microcontrollers

After a brief period of stabilisation, the availability of DSPs and microcontrollers have decreased somewhat whilst lead times have risen.

After lowering their lead times during the summer, ST Micro has introduced increases across the board. The lead times for both 16-Bit and 32-Bit products are twenty-six weeks but lead times for 8-Bit devices have more than doubled: rising to thirty-weeks from a low of fourteen.

Infineon has also posted an increase in lead times, with their 8-Bit devices now coming with a twenty-week lead time, up from twelve.

Programmable Logic

After dropping lead times of its programmable logic parts to eight weeks last month, Microchip has increased them back up to an eye-watering twenty-four, a sudden move that will likely to catch buyers wrongfooted.

However, while Microchip has increased its lead times, both Texas Instruments and Xilinx have decreased theirs.

Logic

Texas Instruments has doubled its maximum waiting time for standard logic parts since our last check, increasing them from a manageable ten weeks to twenty.

There has also been a rise in Nexperia’s lead times, though their increase is a more mediocre four weeks. The availability of ON Semiconductor logic parts remains static.

 


17 October 2017

Toshiba Reportedly Suspended NAND Flash Production

Toshiba Reportedly Suspended NAND Flash Production

According to a report published by DigiTimes, Toshiba suspended production of NAND flash components in Japan. The article, printed on October 16th, states that Toshiba suspended all operations due to a ransomware attack on its computer network.

It is believed that the Japanese conglomerate put manufacturing on hold for between three and six weeks in order to deal with the hacking, though a public statement on the issues is yet to be released.

A source, working for a franchised distributor, told the newspaper that the suspension resulted in reduced production of nearly 100,000 wafers. The source added that the facilities are now back up and running.

Many analysts believe that Toshiba’s recent woes will impact an already constricted market. It was hoped that supply would improve towards the end of 2017 but this recent shutdown by one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of memory components has created uncertainties. Some sources are expecting lead times and prices to increase in the short term.

The demand for memory – and NAND flash components especially – has been high throughout 2017. This has been due to the increased memory content in smartphones, the growth of memory-heavy sectors such as servers, and manufacturers undergoing an uneasy transition towards new production techniques. The global supply of NAND flash memory fell short of demand in the latter half of 2016, and has remained tight since.

There was an expectation that the availability and inflated pricing would ease in the fourth quarter of the year, however with this incident, such a correction might not occur.


18 September 2017

Electronic Component Lead Time News (September 2017)

Lead times have generally remained constant since our last update, back in July, before the summer shutdowns. There are, of course, some anomalies, with the availability of some analog and discrete product groups diminishing over the past six weeks.

Once again, the DSP and Microcontroller sector is plagued with long lead times and low availability, though these issues have started to stabilise after months of volatility. However, supply constraints remain and we would advise purchasing departments to plan in advance or look elsewhere to secure supply.

In short

  • Sharp rise in lead times for ST Micro discrete product lines (IGBT, Power MOSFETs etc.)
  • Texas Instruments double lead times for certain analog parts.
  • The availability of memory products remains limited through franchise sources. This situation is unlikely to improve before the year-end.
  • The market for standard logic product groups has eased marginally.

Analog

The market situation for analog product families has, by and large, remained stable.

However, there has been one big exception: Texas Instruments has doubled its lead times for Interface and Voltage Regulator lines, with buyers of those products now facing a twelve-to-twenty-four week wait through franchise distribution channels.

This follows similar moves from ON Semiconductor and ST Micro at the start of summer. With lead times now maxing out at twenty-six weeks in this sector, the market situation, whilst stable, remains problematic for buyers.

Discretes

For many discrete devices, the delivery situation remains fairly restricted.

This will do little to help buyers who have had to contend with a tight market for most of the calendar year, though this situation is expected to improve as we head towards Q4 2017.

In the short-term though, buyers will have to contend with extending lead times across multiple product groups as four major manufacturers have increased their lead times in the past six weeks.

Those manufacturers are Fairchild (up to twenty-four weeks), Nexperia (twenty-six), ST Micro (thirty-eight) and Toshiba (twenty).

Power MOSFET products are the most affected by this move and regular purchases of these parts can now expect waits of up to thirty-five weeks, up from twenty-eight at our last update.

Again, we would advise you to check with independent distributors to secure immediate stock of discrete products.

Memory

The memory market remains incredibly volatile and shows no sign of calming down in the immediate future. Lead times appear to be stable, those all of Toshiba’s NAND flash and Micron’s DDR3 products continue to available on an allocation-only basis.

Recommended reading: Tight supply for memory products to remain through 2017

Optical

There has been no change since our last update in July. Lead times have remained static and the majority of Osram LEDs are on allocation.

DSP & Microcontrollers

Lead times and the general availability of DSPs and microcontrollers from franchise distribution have stabilised, though lead times remain extremely high for most product groups.

Once again, ST Micro remains an exception in this sector. After the Swiss-based manufacturer bumped up their lead times to a maximum of twenty-six weeks at the start of the summer, they have since reduced them to fourteen weeks.

Logic

There has been a reduction across the board for lead times, with Fairchild, Nexperia and Texas Instrumentals all bringing down their waiting period since our last check. Fairchild and Nexperia have cut their lead times by four weeks, with Texas Instruments cutting theirs by a fortnight.

Only ON Semiconductor’s lead times have remained static, with their standard logic product groups coming in at sixteen weeks.

Programmable Logic

Purchasers of Microchip-manufactured programmable logic parts will be relieved to hear that lead times have dramatically decreased, dropping down from twenty-four weeks to a more manageable eight.

However, while Microchip has been able to slash its lead times, Texas Instruments has doubled its lead times to a maximum of twenty-four weeks.


15 September 2017

Donald Trump Blocks Lattice Semiconductor Deal

Based in Portland, Oregon, Lattice Semiconductors is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance logic devices, wireless radio chips and video chips.

And late last year, the company announced plans to sell to Canyon Bridge, a fund backed by a Chinese venture capital group, in a deal worth around $1.3bn.

However, the White House has blocked the takeover.

In an official statement released on Wednesday, the Trump administration said that it would not allow Canyon Bridge Capital to purchase the Lattice, citing both national security fears and the integrity of the semiconductor industry as motivating factors for their decision.

The national-security risk posed by the transaction relates to, among other things, the potential transfer of intellectual property to the foreign acquirer, the Chinese government's role in supporting this transaction, the importance of semiconductor supply chain integrity to the United States Government, and the use of Lattice products by the United States Government," the White House’s statement read.

China is looking to increase its global reach in a bid to support and improve the country’s economic growth. The semiconductor industry has been a key part of this program and Chinese investment firms have made steps to acquire overseas chip firms and enter partnerships with western tech giants.

Darin G. Billerbeck, CEO of Lattice Semiconductor, commented on the decision, saying: “While it is disappointing that we were not able to prevail, the Board and I would like to thank Canyon Bridge for their support during this time.”

By blocking the takeover, many business analysts have noted that President Trump is taking direct aim at China’s industrial policy.


01 September 2017

Talks continue as Toshiba misses sale deadline

Toshiba may not be able to sign off a $17.5 billion deal to sell its prized memory chip business by a self-imposed deadline of the beginning of September, news sources claim.

The Japanese conglomerate said in a statement that talks will continue.

“Toshiba intends to continue negotiations with possible bidders to reach a definitive agreement which meets Toshiba’s objectives at the earliest possible date,” it said.

However, because of no deal being agreed ahead of the 31st August, city analysts believe that Toshiba will be forced to post a capital deficit for the second straight year. Such a result would see the company be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

If that were to happen, Toshiba’s main creditors could pull funding and financial support as current deals are contingent to the company’s continued listing.

Toshiba has been trying to sell the business for months in a bid to secure its financial viability moving forwards and cover the impact of over $6 billion of liabilities the company holds due to the collapse of its U.S. nuclear unit, Westinghouse.

Sources close to the deal told Reuters that discussions with Western Digital were in the final stages, but the two parties could not agree on the U.S. company’s future stake in the business.

Because of this, rival bidders are making last-minute attempts to hijack the deal.

Reuters has reported that Bain Capital has partnered with tech giant Apple to resubmit a bid, worth $18 billion – half a billion more than what Western Digital was offering. At the same time, Foxconn (formerly known as Hon Hai Precision Industry) has teamed up with SoftBank and Google to present a bid of its own.

But despite the Bain Capital offer being more lucrative than the others, Toshiba is believed to prefer working towards an agreement with Western Digital’s group, as existing legal challenges make it difficult to explore any other advances.

The longer that this carries on, the further that Toshiba and Western Digital, the second and third biggest producers of NAND flash memory, will fall behind the industry leaders, Samsung.

Thanks to inflated market pricing, Samsung has recently overtaken Intel to become the world’s biggest manufacturer of semiconductors and they are pouring billions of dollars into production and R&D to maintain their market position.

“Samsung has been buying up advanced production equipment for next generation three-dimensional NAND chips,” Satoru Oyama, a senior research analyst at IHS said.

According to our latest lead time information, Toshiba’s memory products remain on allocation due to a mixture of demand and capacity issues.

Elsewhere, Fujitsu and Cypress products come with a lead time of up to twenty weeks, while certain Micron DDR2 and DDR3 lines have also been placed on allocation.

Cyclops Electronics can help you overcome lead time issues, be they associated with memory modules, microprocessors or analog product groups. With 177,252 lines in stock, all ready for next-day shipping, speak to a member of our team today.


25 August 2017

Tight Supply for Memory Products Expected Through 2017

Regular purchases of memory components, especially DRAM modules, will continue to experience tight supply and market volatility throughout the rest of the year.

Despite memory manufacturers making moves to increase production capacity, independent industry research firms have predicted that prices will continue to rise during Q3 and Q4 of 2017 as demand outstrips supply.

DRAMeXchange has pointed towards the release of new devices from the likes of Apple and Samsung, combined with traditional peak sales seasons, is the primary factor behind this spike. However, there are other factors at play, namely the temporary suspension of Micron’s foundry at the beginning of the summer.

The foundry was only out of operation for a couple of weeks and resumed production in mid-July, but this downtime will have a knock-on effect,

“In total, Micron Technology lost around 50,000 pieces of DRAM wafers,” explains Avril Wu, a research director at DRAMeXchange. “As the DRAM market heats up again in the year’s second half…. this loss will exacerbate the undersupply situation.

“The chance of a worsening supply shortage in the DRAM marketing in September will depend on Micron’s ability to offset the wafer loss,” Wu added.

The memory sector has been a significant driving force behind the semiconductor sector’s strong growth figures this year. Because of an increase in demand and accompanying sales revenue, IC Insights has pinpointed memory – specifically DRAM modules – as being the fastest growing segment in 2017.

Such is the expected growth, IC insights, the semiconductor research firm, believes that the DRAM market will increase by 55% this year.

However, this upturn in demand has caught the major manufacturers wrong-footed.

“Suppliers,” Wu states, “do not appear to have plans to expand their production capacities on a significant scale between now and the end of the year.”

SK Hynix’s Chief Operating Officer commented on this issue in a webcast, stating: “Suppliers who can significantly increase capacity do not have enough clean room to do so and the pressing need to invest in 3D NAND will leave less financial room for investment.”

This situation will not only keep prices high but, as Mark Liu, a fellow analyst at DRAMeXchange, claims, supply will remain tight for the foreseeable future.

Naturally, this means problems sourcing stock through franchise channels.

As a result, the average selling prices for DRAM components have remained higher than normal during Q2 2017 and DRAMeXchange believes that this upward trend will only continue during Q3 and Q4.

With the cost of memory products increasing and set to remain high through the rest of the year, limited supply and lead times down as being 28-weeks in some cases, it would make sense to broaden your supply chain to secure the stock that you need during these adverse market conditions.

Cyclops Electronics, a leading independent stocking distributor of electronics components, can move quickly to locate and secure quantities of memory products for you.

With 177,232 lines held in stock and access to a further ten million lines through our global search database, we can help you overcome problems associated with lead times, obsolescence and allocation.


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