X-bit Labs reports memory makers will likely reduce DRAM output using different methods, because demand is getting lower due to the weak global economy and cannibalization from smartphones and tablets. According to research firm TrendForce, DRAM makers are slowing down the transition to smaller process nodes, and placing priority on profit margins.
Market research company TrendForce indicates that even industry leader Samsung is highly conservative towards next year’s capital expenditures and bit growth figures. In addition to slowing technology migration plans to the 28nm process, Samsung will only migrate to the 25nm process prior to the advancement to EUV technology. Priority will be placed on profit margins, and advanced process technology will be used primarily for mobile DRAM production.
The 30nm process is currently the mainstream technology for market share dominators Samsung and SK Hynix, while the 20nm process is not expected to see over 50% output until after the second quarter of 2013 due to design difficulties. As Samsung’s 20nm technology is being used mostly for the production of server and mobile memory, commodity DRAM output on the 40nm and 30nm processes will continue. Thus, next year’s bit supply growth forecast is a mere 19%, significantly lower than it has been in recent years. Micron and Elpida are currently migrating to the 30nm process; Elpida has finished client testing, and will gradually ramp up production in the coming months.