A forecast was made once again that prices of memory semiconductors such as DRAMs and NAND flashes will fall up to 30% next year, virtually putting an end to the ongoing super boom in the semiconductor industry that has been leading the Korean economy.
However, some experts argue that even if memory prices fall, a rise in demand will eclipse the drop in memory prices.
DRAMeXchange, a specialized information technology (IT) market researcher, recently projected that DRAM and NAND flash prices would drop 15-20 percent and 25-30 percent, respectively, next year.
“DRAM prices managed to inch up 1 to 2 percent in the third quarter from the previous quarter even before a high-demand season at year’s end. They will skid more than 5 percent in the fourth quarter and fall more sharply next year,” DRAMeXchange said in a report.
It also expected NAND flash prices to drop more significantly as demand for solid state drives (SSDs) for home electronics will be sluggish. It said demand for SSDs for servers and internet data centers would remain strong.
In the semiconductor market, warnings have been issued that the super boom will soon come to an end, although semiconductor companies continued to renew their best business results. In particular, investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan forecast that the memory market would face a slump, as large-scale investment in servers has been completed and the mobile market has been falling deeper in a slump.
On the other hand, experts with a positive outlook say that demand for memory chips is still strong. They point to companies that are waiting for memory prices to decline.
Experts’ views are divided about semiconductor supply. One group says the expansion of production centering on server DRAMs is accelerating price declines. The other group holds that chip prices will not drop as sharply as expected as major companies have been delaying facility investment and the expansion of production lines.