DDR3 memory shortage worsens

Siu Han, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Global supply of DDR3 chips has fallen short of demand by at least over 30,000 wafers, which has been pushing up pricing for the memory, according to industry sources.

DDR3 price have been soaring since the end of 2020, with spot market price rally reaching 40-50%, the sources indicated. The continued price growth is also encouraging related suppliers, such as Winbond Electronics, to make another upward price adjustment.

Winbond plans to raise quotes for DDR3 chips by 30-40% starting April, the sources continued.

With the shortage of DDR3 chips worsening, Samsung Electronics' plans to allocate more of its production lines for low-density DRAM products for CMOS image sensors will be carried out at a slower pace, the sources said. Samsung reportedly intends to depart from the low-density DRAM market segment.

Meanwhile, Nanya Technology and Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing (PSMC) are both looking to scale up their output for DDR3 memory to satisfy growing demand for TVs, set-top boxes (STB) and networking products, the sources noted.

Nanya plans to allocate more of its available capacity for manufacturing of DDR3 chips for profit reasons, said the sources, adding that an additional 10,000-15,000 wafers will be utilized for its DDR3 supply. Nanya's monthly capacity is estimated at about 70,000 wafers, with DDR4 memory being the company's major offering.

PSMC, the major foundry partner of specialty memory designer Elite Semiconductor Memory Technology (ESMT), also plans to allocate more of its available capacity for the manufacture of DDR3 chips, the sources indicated. Nevertheless, PSMC remains focused on the production of logic chips.