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Micron Accident Will Cause DRAM Price Increases
Quote:DRAM prices are on the rise due to slow transitions to new nodes and increased demand in PC, mobile, and server segments. TrendForce predicts that the first quarter of 2017 suffered a 30% increase in the average contract pricing for DIMM modules. Making matters worse, the soothsayer predicts that we will see another 10% increase this quarter, and that is before accounting for the recent production interruption.

Micron recently finished its long-overdue purchase of Inotera. The production shut-down occurred at an Inotera fab, and TrendForce estimates the fab suffered a loss of around 60,000 wafer starts per month out of the fabs' normal 125,000 wafer starts per month. According to TrendForce's self-described conservative estimates, that equates to 5.5% of the global DRAM supply for July. That should kick off yet more price increases across the board. The analyst firm also contends that the cleaning and restoration process will be a "time-consuming challenge," so it appears the fab will take some time to bounce back to normal production levels.

TrendForce also notes that the Inotera fab pumps out LPDDR4 products for iPhones, so we could see delays on Apple's latest smartphone.

Micron released a statement, via Reuters, acknowledging a "minor facility event," but notes that operations are still in the process of recovery.
A quick glance at DRAM pricing on Amazon reveals just how bad the shortage already is, and any significant long-term disruption could be devastating to the global DRAM market, which already has a razor-thin margin of error. We've reached out to Micron for comment and will update as necessary.
Quote:“The DRAM market in the second half of this year will be entering the busy season with tight supply made worse by the temporary suspension of N2 (Fab-2) owned by Micron Technology Taiwan (MTTW),” said Avril Wu, research director of DRAMeXchange. MTTW was formerly known as Inotera before Micron’s acquisition. The company’s fab N2, which is located in Taiwan, suffered a contamination event caused by malfunctioning gas equipment at the start of this July and halted production for two weeks for the cleanup.

The latest update from DRAMeXchange regarding N2’s status reports that the facility has resumed normal operation since mid-July. In terms of damages, just over 20,000 pieces of wafers were ruined by the contamination, and N2’s wafer starts were reduced by about 30,000 pieces during the two-week suspension. In total, MTTW lost around 50,000 pieces of DRAM wafers. As the DRAM market heats up again in the year’s second half due to seasonal demand, this loss will certainly exacerbate the undersupply situation.

MTTW is making its best effort to increase wafer starts in the hope of making up for the lost production period. The chance of worsening supply shortage in the DRAM market in September will depend on MTTW’s ability to offset the wafer loss.

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