At present, semiconductor devices represented by DRAM have set off a tide of price rise all over the world. DRAM is one of the product types of semiconductor memory. The common product form is memory module. The two main application markets are PC and smartphone. According to the official website of Jingdong Mall, the price of Kingston DDR4 2400 8g desktop computer rose from about 400 yuan to about 800 yuan within half a year. Meanwhile, Liu Lirong, chairman of Jinli group, said at the media exchange meeting on September 25 that the price of domestic mobile phones will still rise in the second half of the year, partly due to the increase of memory cost.
According to the market survey data of Jibang consulting semiconductor research center, DRAM was seriously in short supply in the fourth quarter of 2016, which led to an increase of more than 30% in the contract price in the first quarter of 2017, and the prices of various products increased.
Behind the DRAM price rise for four consecutive quarters is the still expanding gap between supply and demand. On the one hand, the shipments of domestic brand mobile phones continued to grow and reached a climax in the second half of 2017. On the other hand, upstream manufacturers Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and micron technology had a long-term monopoly on the market and mastered the market pricing power. According to trendforce data, as of the third quarter of 2016, the total DRAM market share of the three major manufacturers accounted for about 94% of the global market.
As one of the core hardware of smart phones, memory has always relied on imports. According to a securities analyst who has been tracking the semiconductor industry for a long time, as an industry with obvious periodicity according to the changes of inventory, demand and production capacity, this round of price rise has greatly increased the cost of domestic smart phones and PC manufacturers, especially the medium and low-end smart phones with relatively high memory cost, eroding the fierce competition In the low profit smartphone industry, PC manufacturers are facing the dual pressure of declining PC shipments and serious shortage of memory supply. At present, the price of some smart phones has increased by 100 ~ 500 yuan.
By September 12, after Apple released the iPhone x with 88% ~ 90% screen, the battle of mobile phone full screen started in China since the second half of this year has reached a climax.
Jinli group is one of the participants. "The cost of mobile phone manufacturers has been rising". Liu Lirong, chairman of Jinli group, who launched a new generation of comprehensive screen mobile phone product M7 on September 25, said at the media exchange meeting that at present, the memory capacity can not keep up with the demand, and the price rise has become a necessity. Although Jinli company insists on using 6GB memory and does not raise the price of mobile phones, But from the mobile phone market, there is a price rise trend. Analysts said that at present, the memory capacity of smart phones is 2G ~ 8g. The price of the same smart phone launched by the same manufacturer may vary from hundreds of yuan to one or two thousand yuan just because of the different memory capacity.
DRAM market pattern is still dominated by three oligarchs: Samsung Electronics, micron technology and SK Hynix. On July 7, the second quarter performance report released by Samsung Electronics showed that its operating profit reached a new high in the past five years, with a year-on-year increase of nearly 72% to 14 trillion won (about US $12.1 billion). In its performance outlook, the group said that its performance was boosted by the strong performance of the chip business. On September 27, micron technology released its fourth fiscal quarter revenue of $6.14 billion, exceeding Wall Street analysts' expectations and an increase of 91% over the same period last year. Among them, DRAM product sales increased by 5%. Due to the increase of DRAM product profit margin, the gross profit margin in the quarter was 50.7%.
Behind the price rise is also related to the supply contraction of the three major manufacturers. At present, the semiconductor industry is undergoing a technological iterative upgrading, that is, 2D NAND flash (2D flash memory) is transferred to 3D NAND flash (3D flash memory). The three major manufacturers have carried out the construction of flash memory iterative upgrading production lines, and are relatively conservative in the development and capital investment of DRAM. Analysts said that it is expected that by 2018, with the continuous improvement of 3D NAND flash capacity and yield and the continuous production of new capacity, the shortage of memory supply is expected to be alleviated.