Memory chip market to rebound in 2020: Report


(IANS) The global memory chip market is expected to rebound next year, with NAND flash the fastest-growing semiconductor product, a market report has shown, boding well for South Korean chipmakers that have been dominant forces in the sector.

The NAND flash market in 2020 is expected to grow 19 percent, the largest sales growth rate among 33 integrated circuits (IC) products, according to market researcher IC Insights.

DRAM, a type of volatile memory, ranked third with 12 percent growth, just behind a 13 percent gain for auto special-purpose IC, Yonhap news agency reported on Friday.

Solid-state computing is expected to push up the 2020 demand for NAND flash, a type of non-volatile memory, IC Insights said. It added that developments in sectors like 5G technology, artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning and virtual reality will also drive demand for NAND flash and DRAM.

The forecast suggests South Korea’s two major chipmakers — Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc. — can make a turnaround in sales next year and maintain their firm grip on the global memory chip market.

As of the third quarter, Samsung was the top dog in the NAND flash market with a 33.5 percent share, according to data from market researcher TrendForce. SK Hynix ranked sixth with a 9.6 percent market share.

In the DRAM market, Samsung and SK Hynix were the top two players, grabbing a combined 74.7 percent market share as of the third quarter, according to DRAMeXchange.

The two local chipmakers have been suffering a significant drop in their earnings this year after prices of NAND flash and DRAM products fell due to sluggish demand and a high level of inventory.

IC Insights expected the NAND flash market to suffer a 27 percent decline in sales this year, while the DRAM market will drop 37 percent, the poorest growth among 33 IC products.

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