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Press Releases
Historically Low 2023 DRAM Demand Bit Growth at Only 8.3%, NAND Flash Expected to Drive Installed Capacity Growth Due to Falling Prices, Says TrendForce

2022/08/03

Semiconductors

According to TrendForce, DRAM market demand bit growth will only amount to 83% in 2023, sub-10% for the first time in history, and far lower than supply-side bit growth of approximately 141% Data indicates the DRAM market to be severely oversupplied at least in 2023 and prices may continue to decline NAND Flash is still in a state of oversupply and, although prices are expected to fall in the first half of next year, NAND Flash has built-in price elasticity compared to DRAM and average prices are expected to stimulate density growth in the enterprise SSD market after declining for several consecutive quarters Demand bits are expected to grow by 289%, while supply bits will grow by approximately 321% From the perspective of various applications, rising inflation continues to impact demand in consumer markets, so the primary goal of memory brands has been to prioritize inventory correction Especially in the past two years, a shortage of upstream components caused by the pandemic led memory brands to overbook purchase orders while sluggish sales on the distribution channel side have resulted in slow depletion of current notebook inventory, resulting in a further weakening of notebook demand in 2023 In terms of PC DRAM, the proportion of DDR4 and LPDDR4X in PC applications will fall further while the penetration rate of LPDDR5 and DDR5 continues to rise However, the price premium of DDR5 will limit the growth of density in PCs DRAM density in PCs is estimate to increase by approximately 7% annually in 2023 If manufactures cut DDR5 pricing more aggressively next year, installed capacity may be driven up to 9%, depending on whether DDR5 price concessions can be effectively reconciled with DDR4 In terms of PC client SSDs, estimated average installed capacity only increased slightly by 11%, the lowest in the past three years The primary reason is that in the past two years, notebook shipments had spiked due to pandemic demand, simultaneously driving SSD installation rate Average capacity has readily driven up average capacity growth due to the previous tightening of SSD master IC supply However, notebook computer whole device costs have maintained an upward trend in the past two years due to the rising price of components, leading to branded PC manufacturers planning relatively conservative SSD capacity demand bits Since server shipment forecasts have demonstrated impressive growth in past years, subsequent growth momentum will slow since computational fundamentals are already high In terms of Server DRAM, due to the advent of fifth generation memory specifications, the new Sapphire Rapids and Genoa platforms have increased the cost of whole devices and average server capacity has begun to encounter restrictions Instead of the prior practice of merely upgrading the capacity of a single module, demand side considerations will focus more on hardware costs and the practice of ESG strategies Average capacity increase of server DRAM is forecast to be limited in 2023, with an annual increase of approximately 7% In terms of Enterprise SSD, the new Sapphire Rapids and Genoa platforms have begun to upgrade to support the PCIe 50 transfer standard in order to meet the needs of HPC and big data computing The capacity of SSDs must also be upgraded simultaneously to ensure PCIe 50 transfer performance This trend will contribute to the growth of the average capacity of enterprise SSDs next year In addition, as the overall NAND Flash oversupply continues into 1H23, a reduction in NAND Flash pricing will increase the shipment ratio of products above 4TB and the average annual growth rate of enterprise SSD capacity in 2023 is estimated to be 26% As inflation rises, world economies are generally holding a pessimistic view of the consumer market TrendForce believes, cyclical replacement demand and new demand in emerging regions will lead to a slight increase in smartphone production In terms of Mobile DRAM, the Android camp currently has sufficient installed capacity to meet the needs of daily systems operation Therefore, barring impetus provided by innovative applications and considering the cost of whole devices and the low proportion of high-end sales, smartphone brands’ willingness to increase installed capacity has fallen accordingly In terms of the iOS camp, a high degree of operating system optimization reduces demand for mobile DRAM capacity Mobile DRAM density is estimated to increase by only 5% annually in 2023 In terms of smartphone NAND Flash, as the penetration rate of 5G smartphones gradually expands and applications require larger installed capacity to meet the needs of high-quality video recording, basic momentum can be seen for increasing NAND Flash density in smartphones At the same time, the iPhone product portfolio is still moving towards higher capacity across the board and high-end Android models have followed suit with 512GB as standard, while storage in mid- and low-end models will increase with subsequent upgrades in hardware specifications Thus, there is still room for growth in overall average capacity Annual growth of smartphone NAND Flash density is forecast to be maintained at 221% in 2023, slightly lower than that in 2022, but still at a high level For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/   The Webinar, ”COMPUFORUM 2022 Webinar: Diverse Market Opportunities Generated by Applications of Cyber-Physical Systems” will start from June 15, 2022 The TrendForce research team including Mark Liu, Caron Ju, Bryan Ao, and Alex Chen will present speeches regarding memory, servers, and datacenters, respectively 【Info】 When:Wednesday, June, 15 Where:COMPUFORUM 2022 Webinar (Free to access)

Press Releases
Suppliers More Willing to Acquiesce on Price, 3Q22 DRAM Pricing Decline Expands to Nearly 10%, Says TrendForce

2022/07/04

Semiconductors

According to the latest TrendForce research, despite the rapid weakening of overall consumer demand in 1H22, DRAM manufacturers previously presented a tough stance on price negotiations and gave little ground, steadily conveying inventory pressure from buyers to sellers Facing uncertain peak-season demand in 2H22, some DRAM suppliers have begun effectively expressing clear intentions to cut prices, especially in the server field, where demand is relatively stable, in order to reduce inventory pressure This situation will cause 3Q22 DRAM pricing to drop from the previous 3~8% to nearly 10% QoQ If a price war is incited due to companies competing for sales, the drop in prices may exceed 10% PC OEMs have continuously downgraded their shipment prospects  With average DRAM inventory levels at more than two months, unless a huge price incentive exists, there is no urgent demand for procurement At the same time, thanks to continuous adoption of the advanced 1Z/1alpha process, supply continued to increase in 3Q22  DDR4 output could not be effectively reduced due to high pricing limiting the penetration rate of DDR5 The price decline of PC DRAM in 3Q22 is revised to 5~10% At present, server DRAM inventory clients have on hand is approximately 7 to 8 weeks and the buyers’ consensus is that the price of DRAM will continue to fall due to increased inventory pressure on sellers If manufacturers are willing to provide attractive quotations, buyers are willing to discuss the possibility of volume commitments As advanced manufacturing processes progress dynamically and terminal consumer products continue to weaken, server DRAM has become the only effective sales outlet Therefore, Korean manufacturers were the first to signal a willingness to discuss a quarterly pricing reduction of more than 5%, which expanded the decline of server DRAM to 5~10% in 3Q22 Smartphone production targets continued to be downgraded due to the sluggish economy  In addition, smartphone brands are also pessimistic regarding future prospects, casting a gloom over their attitude towards materials stocking However, the output of mobile DRAM still increased in 3Q22 due to the adoption of advanced processes among several manufacturers, increasing pressure on suppliers This increases the willingness of sellers to offer price concessions Given the polarized disparity between supply and demand, the pricing decline of mobile DRAM is forecast to expand to 8-13% this quarter Demand for graphics DRAM procurement has weakened due to inflation-related reduction in consumer products demand and a faltering cryptocurrency market At the same time, migrating graphics DRAM production capacity to other types of DRAM products in not as easy as migrating standard DRAM (Commodity DRAM) capacity Although demand has weakened, it is difficult for suppliers to quickly adjust output Therefore, they are also facing increasing inventory pressure Graphics DRAM pricing in 3Q22 is revised to decline 3-8% QoQ TV shipments lead the fall and demand related to networking and industrial applications have also shown signs of weakening The price of DDR3 is currently at a relatively high point and there is plenty of room for pricing to fall in the future Weak stocking momentum originating from DDR4-related applications does not rule out the possibility of a wider decline In addition to the expansion of output due to the introduction of advanced processes, Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers will still add new production capacity in 2H22 The decline in consumer DRAM pricing is forecast to deepen to 8~13% this quarter For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/ The Webinar, ”COMPUFORUM 2022 Webinar: Diverse Market Opportunities Generated by Applications of Cyber-Physical Systems” will start from June 15, 2022 The TrendForce research team including Mark Liu, Caron Ju, Bryan Ao, and Alex Chen will present speeches regarding memory, servers, and datacenters, respectively 【Info】 When:Wednesday, June, 15 Where:COMPUFORUM 2022 Webinar (Free to access)

Press Releases
Server Shipments Maintain Growth in 3Q22, Though 2H22 Performance Concerns Linger, Says TrendForce

2022/06/28

Semiconductors

According to TrendForce research, observing recent server market dynamics, ODM’s prior production plans have begun to gradually cool Since the material mismatch cycle has improved significantly, server motherboard suppliers' stocking momentum began falling off in 2Q22 At the same time, pandemic lockdowns in Shanghai have impacted the production of some ODMs Particularly, enterprise orders led by Inventec have borne the brunt Production plans including those of Dell and HPE have been significantly delayed but overall shipment performance will not be affected in the short term Global server shipments are still forecast to grow by 65% QoQ in 3Q22, mainly due to continued support from demand generated by companies accelerating cloud migration post-pandemic TrendForce indicates that there is currently no sign of the four major North American CSPs reducing server order volume However, since the advent of the pandemic, the industry has faced supply chain issues and the server side has continued to be affected by a limited supply of scarce materials In order to achieve production goals, buyers have increased their orders and raised their material inventories as a bulwark against shortages causing an inability to ship whole devices This prompted data centers, OEM clients, and ODMs of all sizes to increase order volume estimates, resulting in a surplus of orders in the server market Therefore, TrendForce does not rule out the possibility of subsequent order adjustments by CSP players, which will lead to a slight downward revision in server shipments in 2022 In addition to the potential quandary of impending order adjustments foreshadowed by the overall market, server demand in the Chinese market is characterized by additional policy-related factors TrendForce indicates, since the implementation of the Chinese government's policy on energy consumption and Internet business in 2021, first-tier Internet service providers in mainland China have begun to adjust their server stocking plans in 2022 Up until now, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent have all lowered their procurement scale this year, with Tencent downgrading its purchasing in the most obvious fashion In addition, the three major BAT giants will be more reserved in terms of future cloud construction It is worth mentioning that among the four major CSP players in China, only ByteDance has grown this year despite prevailing trends ByteDance reduces the negative impact of domestic policies in China by actively expanding its e-commerce platform that combines its overseas TikTok business and new businesses ByteDance will still maintain an annual growth rate of nearly 70% in server purchases in 2022 However, a project to shift computing resources westward on the domestic front proposed by the Chinese government is driving the construction of forward-looking servers and began priming the cloud business of telecom operators in 2Q22 TrendForce observed, in addition to China Mobile, which previously displayed strong momentum, starting to gradually increase order volume, China Telecom and China Unicom have also generally increased the scale of their server tenders, and such momentum has been evenly distributed among OEMs in mainland China Therefore, despite the slowdown in the purchasing power of China's first-tier CSP players, the deployment of provincial government servers and the construction of telecommunications companies supported by state-owned assets have formed a demand backstop for China's server market this year Global server market will maintain positive growth in 2022, shipments expected to grow by 5% annually TrendForce believes, the demand side of the global server market has grown significantly in the past two years due to the impact of the pandemic but the pandemic has also caused chaos in the supply chain and logistics, causing uncertainty in industry development Although server demand in 2H22 is subject to downside risks due to the consequences of material mismatches, the annual growth rate of server shipments for the entire year can still reach approximately 5% Instead, it may be affected by inventory adjustments and overall economic downturn in 2023 IT capital investment is likely to slow and growth will not be as strong as in the past two years For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/   The Webinar, ”COMPUFORUM 2022 Webinar: Diverse Market Opportunities Generated by Applications of Cyber-Physical Systems” will start from June 15, 2022 The TrendForce research team including Mark Liu, Caron Ju, Bryan Ao, and Alex Chen will present speeches regarding memory, servers, and datacenters, respectively 【Info】 When:Wednesday, June, 15 Where:COMPUFORUM 2022 Webinar (Free to access)

Press Releases
HBM/CXL Emerge in Response to Demand for Optimized Hardware Used in AI-driven HPC Applications, Says TrendForce

2021/11/15

Semiconductors

According to TrendForce’s latest report on the server industry, not only have emerging applications in recent years accelerated the pace of AI and HPC development, but the complexity of models built from machine learning applications and inferences that involve increasingly sophisticated calculations has also undergone a corresponding growth as well, resulting in more data to be processed While users are confronted with an ever-growing volume of data along with constraints placed by existing hardware, they must make tradeoffs among performance, memory capacity, latency, and cost HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) and CXL (Compute Express Link) have thus emerged in response to the aforementioned conundrum In terms of functionality, HBM is a new type of DRAM that addresses more diverse and complex computational needs via its high I/O speeds, whereas CXL is an interconnect standard that allows different processors, or xPUs, to more easily share the same memory resources HBM breaks through bandwidth limitations of traditional DRAM solutions through vertical stacking of DRAM dies Memory suppliers developed HBM in order to be free from the previous bandwidth constraints posed by traditional memory solutions Regarding memory architecture, HBM consists of a base logic die with DRAM dies vertically stacked on top of the logic die The 3D-stacked DRAM dies are interconnected with TSV and microbumps, thereby enabling HBM’s high-bandwidth design The mainstream HBM memory stacks involve four or eight DRAM die layers, which are referred to as “4-hi” or “8-hi”, respectively Notably, the latest HBM product currently in mass production is HBM2e This generation of HBM contains four or eight layers of 16Gb DRAM dies, resulting in a memory capacity of 8GB or 16GB per single HBM stack, respectively, with a bandwidth of 410-460GB/s Samples of the next generation of HBM products, named HBM3, have already been submitted to relevant organizations for validation, and these products will likely enter mass production in 2022 TrendForce’s investigations indicate that HBM comprises less than 1% of total DRAM bit demand for 2021 primarily because of two reasons First, the vast majority of consumer applications have yet to adopt HBM due to cost considerations Second, the server industry allocates less than 1% of its hardware to AI applications; more specifically, servers that are equipped with AI accelerators account for less than 1% of all servers currently in use, not to mention the fact that most AI accelerators still use GDDR5(x) and GDDR6 memories, as opposed to HBM, to support their data processing needs Although HBM currently remains in the developmental phase, as applications become increasingly reliant on AI usage (more precise AI needs to be supported by more complex models), computing hardware will then require the integration of HBM to operate these applications effectively In particular, FPGA and ASIC represent the two hardware categories that are most closely related to AI development, with Intel’s Stratix and Agilex-M as well as Xilinx’s Versal HBM being examples of FPGA with onboard HBM Regarding ASIC, on the other hand, most CSPs are gradually adopting their own self-designed ASICs, such Google’s TPU, Tencent’s Enflame DTU, and Baidu’s Kunlun – all of which are equipped with HBM – for AI deployments In addition, Intel will also release a high-end version of its Sapphire Rapids server CPU equipped with HBM by the end of 2022 Taking these developments into account, TrendForce believes that an increasing number of HBM applications will emerge going forward due to HBM’s critical role in overcoming hardware-related bottlenecks in AI development A new memory standard born out of demand from high-speed computing, CXL will be more effective in integrating resources of whole system Evolved from PCIe Gen5, CXL is a memory standard that provides high-speed and low-latency interconnections between the CPU and other accelerators such as the GPU and FPGA It enables memory virtualization so that different devices can share the same memory pool, thereby raising the performance of a whole computer system while reducing its cost Hence, CXL can effectively deal with the heavy workloads related to AI and HPC applications CXL is just one of several interconnection technologies that feature memory sharing Other examples that are also in the market include NVLink from NVIDIA and Gen-Z from AMD and Xilinx Their existence is an indication that the major ICT vendors are increasingly attentive to the integration of various resources within a computer system TrendForce currently believes that CXL will come out on top in the competition mainly because it is introduced and promoted by Intel, which has an enormous advantage with respect to the market share for CPUs With Intel’s support in the area of processors, CXL advocates and hardware providers that back the standard will be effective in organizing themselves into a supply chain for the related solutions The major ICT companies that have in turn joined the CXL Consortium include AMD, ARM, NVIDIA, Google, Microsoft, Facebook (Meta), Alibaba, and Dell All in all, CXL appears to be the most favored among memory protocols The consolidation of memory resources among the CPU and other devices can reduce communication latency and boost the computing performance needed for AI and HPC applications For this reason, Intel will provide CXL support for its next-generation server CPU Sapphire Rapids Likewise, memory suppliers have also incorporated CXL support into their respective product roadmaps Samsung has announced that it will be launching CXL-supported DDR5 DRAM modules that will further expand server memory capacity so as to meet the enormous resource demand of AI computing There is also a chance that CXL support will be extended to NAND Flash solutions in the future, thus benefiting the development of both types of memory products Synergy between HBM and CXL will contribute significantly to AI development; their visibility will increase across different applications starting in 2023 TrendForce believes that the market penetration rate of CXL will rise going forward as this interface standard is built into more and more CPUs Also, the combination of HBM and CXL will be increasingly visible in the future hardware designs of AI servers In the case of HBM, it will contribute to a further ramp-up of data processing speed by increasing the memory bandwidth of the CPU or the accelerator As for CXL, it will enable high-speed interconnections among CPU and other devices By working together, HBM and CXL will raise computing power and thereby expedite the development of AI applications The latest advances in memory pooling and sharing will help overcome the current hardware bottlenecks in the designs of different AI models and continue the trend of more sophisticated architectures TrendForce anticipates that the adoption rate of CXL-supported Sapphire Rapids processors will reach a certain level, and memory suppliers will also have put their HBM3 products and their CXL-supported DRAM and SSD products into mass production Hence, examples of HBM-CXL synergy in different applications will become increasingly visible from 2023 onward For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom For additional insights from TrendForce analysts on the latest tech industry news, trends, and forecasts, please visit our blog at https://insidertrendforcecom/

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