With Electronica 2014 now in the books, we look back at the staggering amount of visitors to this biennial event. This year’s event drew 73,000 visitors from 80+ countries and more than 2,700 exhibitors. Memory exhibitors included Alliance Memory, Adesto, Cypress, ISSI, Kingston, Micron, Nanya and Winbond to name a few of the larger board-level component manufacturers.
The overwhelming consensus by company representatives was that year end will remain quiet. Any surplus inventory levels will slowly bleed off, lead times will remain stable, and prices should remain around their current levels. DDR3 lead times continue to hover between 12 to 16 weeks. DDR2 lead times are between 8 to 12 weeks.
Contradictory to reports on contract pricing dropping in the first half of November, one product to watch is the 1GB, x16 series. I’ve seen an increase in activity and the factory has come back with “no bids” for opportunities over 10k pieces. SDRAM activity also continues to stay elevated. With legacy designs still needing support in the industrial and medical fields, I am forecasting an increase in activity come Q1 2015.
SK Hynix is starting to position itself for a big 2015 with the addition of an office staffed with storage and firmware experts based out of Colorado. SK Hynix is already the main NAND supplier in the Apple iPad Mini and main memory in the iPad. So, taking more market share seems on track. Currently, Apple is consuming 10 percent of the world’s NAND supply. That number will almost double in 2015. With the coming week a short one due to the Thanksgiving holiday, don’t expect a rush of new activity. However, it would be nice to see a “Black Friday” rush in the memory market.
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.