Global DRAM sales plummeted 29 in one quarter the
Hardware

Global DRAM sales plummeted 29% in one quarter – the most since 2008

As demand for computers and consumer electronics fell, manufacturers began to adjust inventories and reduce purchases, causing DRAM sales to plummet by almost 30% sequentially in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter – the last time such a strong downward trend was seen in 2008. At the same time, Micron and SK hynix increased their market share over the past quarter, while Samsung and smaller players declined.

    Image source: samsung.com

Image source: samsung.com

Global revenue of the DRAM industry was $18.187 billion in the third quarter of 2022, down 28.9% from $25.594 billion in the second quarter, analysts say TrendForce. Contract storage prices fell 10-15% during the quarter, while spot prices fell even more. These lawsuits affected DRAM for consumer electronics, PCs and servers – manufacturers of finished products began to adjust their inventories due to a drop in demand.

Samsung remained the global leader in the global memory market by revenue, with revenue down 33.5% sequentially and market share falling to 40.7% from 43.5%. SK Hynix’s revenue fell 25.2%, but its market share rose 1.4% to 28.8%. Micron’s quarterly revenue decline was the lowest in the industry, but it was 23.3% and its market share rose to 26.4% from 24.5%. Smaller manufacturers, including Nanya, Winbond and PSMC, reported a 37.4% to 40.8% drop in sales accompanied by a loss of market share.

    Image source: trendforce.com

Image source: trendforce.com

To stabilize prices, memory manufacturers can either slow down expansion or transition to more advanced technologies. However, shutting down production at equipped plants is an extremely expensive measure that results in significant losses, while slowing the transition to new nodes is a relatively inexpensive way to reduce productivity. This is what players will likely do in the coming quarters. Therefore, Samsung will open a new P3L plant next year, thereby expanding production capacity, but the transition to new nodes will slow down. SK Hynix will do the same. Micron, which just started LPDDR5X production at its 1β facilities in Japan, needs to ramp up production, but not as aggressively. The rest of the brands may be doing the same, but with an overall market share of 4% in Q3 2022, the impact of these companies will be insignificant.

These processes have traditionally been considered cheap for end users and PC manufacturers, especially for those planning to migrate to DDR5. However, after producers take protective measures, demand will stabilize or even increase, causing prices to rise as well. Perhaps now is the best time to upgrade machines.

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Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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