Gartner, a market information advisory firm, said on Jan. 15 that global DRAM sales growth for 2015 is expected to be more moderate than a year earlier as market demand and supply has been tilting toward a balance.
Gartner’s latest report said that DRAM sales are expected to grow 7.7% before the end of this year, compared with a skyrocketing 31.7% year-on-year increase recorded in 2014.
“DRAM pricing was unusually firm in 2014 due to short supply, which propelled DRAM to be the fastest-growing device type in 2014,” Gartner’s report said.
Gartner said that major DRAM suppliers, including Taiwan’s Nanya Technology Corp (TPE: 2408) and Inotera Memories Inc (TPE: 3474) were benefitted from such an uptrend and reported strong revenue and solid earnings in 2014. Nanya and Inotera, meanwhile, are both DRAM manufacturing arms of conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group (TPE: 1301).
“DRAM supply and demand will be in line in 2015, driving pricing down by a more traditional 16.8% and reducing annual DRAM revenue growth to 7.7%,” Gartner said.
For the semiconductor industry’s sales for 2015, Gartner said that a total of US$358 billion can be expected, which will be 5.4% up from a year earlier, compared with a 7.9% increase seen in 2014.
“DRAM returns to more traditional price reductions and the industry burns off excess holiday inventory,” Gartner said.
The 5.4% growth also represented a downward revision of a previous estimate of a 5.8% increase Gartner made in the fourth quarter of 2014, the advisory firm said. The firm said that industrial applications and wireless applications, which are mainly driven by mobile phones, are expected to be the biggest growth market for semiconductors in 2015.
In the meantime, Gartner said that the industrial electronics segment could enjoy a 9.1% sales growth in 2015, outperforming the entire semiconductor sector. The advisory firm said that the growth in the industrial electronics segment will largely result from solid demand for LED lighting applications for industrial and residential purposes and smart city projects.