According to global market researcher and IT consultant Gartner on January 17, the memory chip market is expected to reach US$451 billion (479.64 trillion won) this year, up 7.5 percent from US$419 billion (445.61 trillion won) last year.
Thanks to high specification of smartphones and expansion of Internet data center (IDC), memory chips, such as DRAM and NAND flash, enjoyed a super boom last year. However, there has been controversy over the semiconductor industry reaching its peak from October last year. This is because the growth in mainly memory chips is forecast to gradually come to an end. Gartner released its report on October 13 last year and also said the semiconductor market would worth US$427.4 billion (454.75 trillion won) in 2018.
However, Gartner raised its market estimates by US$23.6 billion (25.11 trillion won) from US$427.4 billion (454.75 trillion won) after three months. This is largely due to the fact that the controversy over the peak in the memory chip industry has subsided as the boom is expected to continue in the DRAM and NAND flash sectors.
Gartner said, “About US$19.5 billion (20.83 trillion won), or 82 percent, out of the US$23.6 billion (25.11 trillion won), increase, comes from memory chips. The rise in DRAM and NAND flash memory chips prices boosted the semiconductor market forecasts as a whole.”
Although the demand of mobile memory chips for smartphones, which have led to the super boom so far, will slightly decrease, the price of memory chips will continue to grow as the boom in the market of premium products, including solid state drive (SSD), a mass storage device for IDCs, has been keeping up.
However, the upward movement in memory chip prices can be a pressure on margin of smartphone, personal computer and server manufacturers that lead the demand, according to Gartner.
The World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS), a market statistics corporation which has about 60 semiconductor producers around the world, also said that the semiconductor market will grow nearly 7 percent this year compared to a year earlier. It said the market will expand from US$408.7 billion (435 trillion) in 2017 to US$437.3 billion (465.51 trillion won) this year.