According to the latest investigations by the DRAMeXchange research division of TrendForce, DRAM suppliers were able to successfully reduce their inventories in 1Q20, with significantly lower inventory levels at the end of 1Q20 compared to the beginning of the year. Hence, suppliers are no longer under imminent pressure to slash prices, and overall DRAM ASP rose by about 0-5% QoQ. However, while governments responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing citywide and nationwide lockdown policies, the resultant logistic disruptions in turn affected DRAM bit shipment as well. Therefore, in spite of the minor rise in ASP, global DRAM revenue decreased by 4.6% QoQ, reaching US$14.8 billion.
According to the latest investigations by TrendForce, if the COVID-19 pandemic were to cause a break in the semiconductor supply chain, the industry would then be confronted with operational difficulties; the pandemic-induced decline in commercial and social activities may also potentially push back or even lower the traditional strong seasonality, thus affecting the foundry industry’s magnitude of revenue growth in 2020. Prior to the onset of COVID-19, foundries had originally forecasted a double-digit revenue growth YoY. However, given the deferred schedule of disease containment and the uncertain recovery time for market demand, TrendForce is forecasting a 5%-9% single-digit YoY growth in foundry revenue this year, with 6.8% being the median.
According to the DRAMeXchange research division of TrendForce, Chinese NAND Flash manufacturer YMTC submitted samples of its 128L 3D NAND products to storage controller chip suppliers in 1Q20. The company is aiming to begin wafer input in 3Q20 and start mass production by the end of the year. The initial applications being considered for the 128L process include UFS-based storage solutions and SSDs; YMTC also intends on shipping packaged dies and wafers based on this technology to module houses. Factoring in the time for adoption among OEM clients, TrendForce believes that YMTC’s 128L production could first affect contract prices of NAND wafers as early as 4Q20. Then, YMTC is expected to apply its 128L process to client SSDs, eMMC/UFS solutions, and other storage products starting from 2021. With the Chinese manufacturer poised to expand the overall supply with its latest technology, the possibility of declining prices next year has become significantly higher for most types of NAND Flash products.
According to the latest investigations by the WitsView research division of TrendForce, disappointing 1Q20 shipment performances by panel manufacturers, combined with the continued acceleration of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and the U.S., resulted in a reduction of proposed TV panel purchases in 2Q20 by several major TV brands. Despite urgent orders for IT panels due to the increased need for telework, overall IT panel demand following the fulfillment of these urgent orders remains yet unclear. As such, the previous projection of tight large-size DDI supply in 2020 has not surfaced at the moment.
Market intelligence firm TrendForce reports that the ongoing campaigns to suppress the spread of COVID-19 in many countries have rapidly exhausted the global supply of critical medical equipment and materials. Currently, the shortages of protective gears including face masks, face shields, and protective suits are starting to ease a bit as production of these items goes into high gear due to manufacturers’ efforts and cross-industry collaboration. However, there is still a sizable supply gap for electronic devices deployed in the monitoring and caring of coronavirus patients. Since these devices contain a multitude of semiconductor components that are made using high-precision manufacturing processes, medical device suppliers are depending on chip makers to ramp up production. Going forward, shortening the lead time for the key components will be a significant factor in overcoming the supply bottleneck for the essential medical equipment.