According to the latest TrendForce research, pandemic-induced materials shortages abated in the second half of this year and the supply and delivery of short-term materials has recovered significantly. However, assuming materials supply is secure and demand can be met, the annual growth rate of server shipments in 2023 is estimated to be only 3.7%, which is lower than 5.1% in 2022.
Affected by tight wafer supply, lead time for SSD controller IC and PMIC components was prolonged to 32 weeks in 2021. All controller IC suppliers generally give priority to supplying NAND Flash manufacturers, so production at module factories could not meet SSD demand in the retail market during that time. In 2H21, the supply of SSD-related components improved quarter by quarter and various module manufacturers boosted their SSD shipments in order to upsurge their annual performance. According to TrendForce research, SSD shipments through global distribution channels reached 127 million units in 2021, with an annual growth rate of 11%.
Current U.S. sanctions on China have extended their reach to strike at HPC and sectors such as aerospace, automotive market, and military industry. TrendForce indicates, the market for high-end computing chips (including CPU, GPU, etc.) has borne the brunt of these restrictions at this stage, while those providing related storage such as DRAM and NAND Flash also face potential supply disruption. At present, this not only includes domestic companies in mainland China but also extends to related US-based suppliers. Among them, server companies that rely on high-intensity computing will face greater scrutiny.
According to TrendForce's latest server-related report, the original goal of CXL (Compute Express Link) was to integrate performance between various xPUs and thereby optimize hardware costs required for AI and HPC, breaking through original hardware limitations. CXL support remains sourced to the CPU and, since the server CPUs that support CXL functionality such as Intel Sapphire Rapids and AMD Genoa only support the CXL 1.1 specification at this time, the product that this specification can realize first is CXL Memory Expander. Therefore, TrendForce believes, among various CXL-related products, CXL Memory Expander will become a precursor product and this product is also the most closely related to DRAM.
In this press release, TrendForce details 10 major trends that are expected to take place across various segments in the tech industry, as follows: