Q2 2019: Memory Business is Approaching the Bottom

Q2 2019: Memory Business is Approaching the Bottom

“Combined DRAM and NAND revenue was US$25.4 billion in Q2 2019, down 5% from Q1 and down 39% year-over-year as sluggish demand and elevated inventory levels continued to plague the memory markets”, announces Simone Bertolazzi, Memory Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole).

What is the latest news on the memory business? What is the status of the market indicators? Is the market still growing? What are the revenues of each key memory player? What are their strategies, facing market evolution?… Memory analysts from Yole Group invite you to discover an up-to-date overview of this industry.

Megatrends are of course still present in this competitive landscape. The automotive is, for example, playing a key role. Even if the automotive memory business is still a relatively small market segment with less than 3% of the overall stand-alone memory market in 2018, companies are seriously considering investments and developments in this industry. Therefore, driven by important technology trends, automotive is expected to be the fastest-growing memory-market segment in the next 5 years. Memory analysts announce more than 20% CAGR between 2018 and 2024.1

Autonomous vehicles are radically changing the memory requirements. By 2024, the average NAND content in cars is expected to increase dramatically, exceeding 300 GB/vehicle. Yole announces an impressive 79% CAGR between 2018 and 2024. Over the same period, DRAM should reach a 42% CAGR from 3.2GB per vehicle today to nearly 20GB per vehicle…

Without doubts, the wind of change is there. The market research & strategy consulting company, Yole, presents for you today its quarterly snapshot of the DRAM & NAND memory business industries extracted from NAND Service – Memory Research and DRAM Service – Memory Research, Q2 2019 figures.

NAND Market: The Worst will Soon Be Behind You

“NAND market conditions remained soft in Q2 2019, with seasonally weak demand and abnormally high inventories keeping the pricing environment under downward pressure”, announces Walt Coon, VP of NAND and Memory Research and part of the Semiconductor & Software division at Yole.

Quarterly revenue was US$10.1 billion in Q2 2019, down slightly from Q1-19 and down 35% year-over-year. Blended NAND prices fell 13% from Q1-19, the sixth consecutive quarter of sequential price declines. Bit shipments were up 14% in the quarter.

NAND revenue-based market share rankings changed slightly in Q2 2019:

  • Samsung increased its market share leadership position to 37% of the total revenue, up 5 points from Q1 2019.
  • Toshiba Memory held the second position with 19% of total revenue, followed by Western Digital at 14%
  • SK Hynix market share was 11%, overtaking Micron at 10% for the 4th position
  • Intel accounted for 8% of industry revenue, while the remaining players accounted for less than 1% of NAND industry revenue.

Although NAND inventory remains elevated, several suppliers were able to reduce inventory levels in the quarter. The power outage at Toshiba Memory’s Yokkaichi facility late in the second quarter will reduce industry production, helping to accelerate inventory declines. Normalizing inventory levels, rising seasonal demand, and impacts from prior utilization and CAPEX cuts provides hope for a likely recovery in the second half of 2019 and an improved 2020 outlook.

The DRAM Market: Winter has Come

The DRAM market continued to decline in Q2 2019. Quarterly revenue fell 11.4% in Q2 2019, to US$15.3 billion. Prices fell 20.7% during the quarter, marking three consecutive quarters that prices have fallen. Revenue would have fallen much more had shipments not grown 16.3% for the quarter. The strong growth in shipments was in stark contrast to Q1 2019 when shipments fell 3%.

The market shares of the DRAM triumvirate (Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron) remained largely unchanged in Q2 2019 although Samsung did pick up 2% of market share while SK Hynix and Micron each surrendered 1%. Given the capital expenditure plans for 2019 and 2020, we do not expect significant shifts in the manufacturing market share this year.

“While we still anticipate several more quarters with falling prices, the recovery is coming into clearer focus”, details Mike Howard, VP of DRAM & Memory Research at Yole. “Prices are expected to fall 45% in 2019 and continue falling in early 2020 before prices begin climbing in mid-2020.”

Memory Business: What’s Next?

Last summer, Yole’s memory team was pleased to welcome the leading memory companies at the 1st Executive Memory event powered by Yole: Memory industry: What could happen in the future?

During a few hours, memory companies and Yole’s analysts had the opportunity to exchange and debate about the latest technology and market trends. They commented on the strategy of each leading player and identified business opportunities.

In addition, the latest technology & market report, MRAM Technology and Business 2019, has been launched during the FMS week, beginning of August. MRAM promises life beyond eFlash: the embedded MRAM market is taking off and is expected to reach $1.2B by 2024. For more info, click on MRAM industry overview

The Q2 2019 Memory Monitor is also now available: DRAM Service – Memory Research and NAND Service – Memory Research.

Stay tuned on i-Micronews.com!

[1] Source: Status of the Memory Industry report, Yole Développement, 2019

Source: www.yole.frwww.systemplus.fr