For this second quarter, the total server DRAM revenue of the global top three DRAM makers – Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron – jumped by 30.1% compared with the prior quarter, as ASPs of server DRAM products remained high on continuing undersupply, says DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce. Despite product mix adjustments, suppliers had difficulty meeting the various growing demands in the DRAM market.
“Thanks to the increase in the average memory density of server systems, as evidenced by the adoption of high-density 32GB RDIMMs and 64GB LRDIMMs in this year’s first half, the profit margin of server DRAM surged,” said DRAMeXchange analyst Mark Liu. The introduction of servers based on Intel’s Purley platform in this year’s second half will further raise the market penetration rate of DDR4 2666MHz modules. On the whole, server DRAM supply is expected remain tight throughout the remainder of 2017.
Samsung continues to benefit from having a commanding share of the overall DRAM market and an overall lead in manufacturing technology. In the server DRAM market, Samsung staged an especially outstanding performance due to successful product planning and deployment. Samsung’s second-quarter server revenue leapt by 36.5% sequentially to around US$1.99 billion for a 44.8% global market share.
In the second half of 2017, server ODMs and OEMs will be responding to rising demand generated by data center projects. Samsung therefore will adjust its shipment fulfillment rates for different clients. This way, Samsung will be able to satisfy its main customers and maintain high profit at the same time.
SK Hynix also performed remarkably in the second-quarter server DRAM sales, which advanced by 28.2% sequentially to about US$1.38 billion. The revenue growth was mainly attributed to the supplier responding to market demand by transferring some of its manufacturing capacity from low-power DRAM production to server DRAM production.
In terms of capacity planning SK Hynix has expanded the share of server DRAM in its overall DRAM product mix to 32%. Utilization of some production capacity will be in line with the market demand as to maintain a healthy profit margin. Regarding manufacturing technology, SK Hynix will be mainly producing server solutions on its 21nm process in the second half of 2017. Besides increasing the portion of 21nm products in its total server DRAM output, the supplier will also be focusing on the production of 32GB modules for the rest of the year.
Micron scored a 22% sequential growth in server DRAM revenue for the second quarter, totaling around US$1.07 billion. Micron benefitted from the general undersupply situation and made the right adjustments to its product mix. Furthermore, Micron has raised the yield rate of its 20nm process significantly. In addition to an increase in its server DRAM bit shipments compared with the first quarter, the supplier also saw a rise in the ASPs of its server DRAM products.
Server products already made up nearly 30% of Micron’s DRAM output for this first quarter. To ensure that the overall product mix is at optimal profitability and meeting market demand, Micron will keep expanding the output share of server DRAM to the end of this year.