Activity levels in the memory device market remain flat and there is a bit of uncertainty as to where the weeks before Thanksgiving will finish. The 32x16 LP DDR parts were the biggest call out of the week, followed by standard 1.5-V DDR2 SDRAM. This may be due to an increase in mobile applications and products that need low voltage draws and double bandwidth to access memory.
We did see an increase in activity for Hynix and Samsung products. This may be due to the fact that we are still seeing lead time and delivery issues with Micron. Micron DDR3 continues to be quoted at 12 to 16 weeks. Orders are being processed, but lead times are not being confirmed at time of order. In addition, some have stated to America II that “we have had to wait almost a month before orders are confirmed”.
NOR Flash activity continues to increase as demand for these longer life cycle parts increases. Keep in mind, that some tablets use both NOR and NAND. NOR can be used to boot the operating systems, while NAND could be the primary source for storage. If an increase in demand for tablets, cell phones, and even hard disk drives is seen, this could catch some manufacturers off guard and continuity of supply could be affected.
SSDs are gaining a foothold in the consumer notebook market, but as of today (November 7) they still are a higher priced option. For example, a major direct computer manufacturer’s website offers a 1-TB HDD laptop that is priced $100 less than a 256-GB solid state-equipped laptop, all other things equal. I expect to see product loosen up as manufacturers catch up with production, and forecast another flat week ahead, barring any major disturbances.
Joe Stern is the memory product manager at America II Electronics. With more than 15 years’ experience at the company, Joe has spent the majority of his time on the purchasing and supply chain side of the business. Joe started his career at America II in 1999 in sales. He then transitioned to the purchasing team in 2001 as the memory commodity buyer and was soon promoted to senior memory buyer. During his time on the purchasing team, Joe became a subject matter expert in the memory field, leading new hire and product training, analyzing market conditions, and identifying opportunities to increase profitability all while continuing to support customer supply chains. In 2013, Joe was promoted to the product management team. In his current role as memory product manager, Joe works closely with his global sourcing team and is responsible for inventory position, internal marketing and promotion of key component manufacturers for global sales and purchasing.