Although Samsung says it still does not have a full-year capital spending forecast for this year it did say it will spend “less” in semiconductor capital outlays in 2018 as compared to 2017, when it spent $24.2 billion. However, as of 1Q18, with regard to its capex, its “foot is still on the gas!” Samsung spent $6.72 billion in capex for its semiconductor division in 1Q18, slightly higher than the average of the previous three quarters. This figure is almost 4x the amount the company spent just two years earlier in 1Q16! Over the past four quarters, Samsung has spent an incredible $26.6 billion in capital outlays for its semiconductor group. Wow!
Posts Tagged ‘DRAM’
IC Insights’ latest market, unit, and average selling price forecasts for 33 major IC product segments for 2018 through 2022 is included in the March Update to the 2018 McClean Report (MR18). The Update also includes an analysis of the major semiconductor suppliers’ capital spending plans for this year.The biggest adjustments to the original MR18 IC market forecasts were to the memory market; specifically the DRAM and NAND flash segments. The DRAM and NAND flash memory market growth forecasts for 2018 have been adjusted upward to 37% for DRAM (13% shown in MR18) and 17% for NAND flash (10% shown in MR18).
The big increase in the DRAM market forecast for 2018 is primarily due to a much stronger ASP expected for this year than was originally forecast. IC Insights now forecasts that the DRAM ASP will register a 36% jump in 2018 as compared to 2017, when the DRAM ASP surged by an amazing 81%. Moreover, the NAND flash ASP is forecast to increase 10% this year, after jumping by 45% in 2017. In contrast to strong DRAM and NAND flash ASP increases, 2018 unit volume growth for these product segments is expected to be up only 1% and 6%, respectively.
Skyrocketing DRAM prices potentially open the door for startup Chinese competitors.
In 2017, DRAM bit volume growth was 20%, half the 40% rate of increase registered in 2016. For 2018, each of the three major DRAM producers (e.g., Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron) have stated that they expect DRAM bit volume growth to once again be about 20%. However, as shown in Figure 1, monthly year-over-year DRAM bit volume growth averaged only 13% over the nine-month period of May 2017 through January 2018.
Figure 1 also plots the monthly price-per-Gb of DRAM from January of 2017 through January of 2018. As shown, the DRAM price-per-Gb has been on a steep rise, with prices being 47% higher in January 2018 as compared to one year earlier in January 2017. There is little doubt that electronic system manufacturers are currently scrambling to adjust and adapt to the skyrocketing cost of memory.