Gong Xie Fa Chai! The year of the goat is upon us. The goat’s personality traits are mild-mannered, shy, kind and peace-loving … which all could be considered antonyms of the memory market. The time leading up to the annual week-long celebration and shutdown saw an influx of quotes for all densities of x16 DDR3 1.35v and 1.5v. I also saw higher than normal quoting on 16x16 SDRAM. The increase in activity was more than likely due to the fact that many major memory suppliers in that region are now closed. In addition, prices started to dip leading up to Chinese New Year as the PC DRAM market softened.
Now that we are in the midst of closures, I am starting to see some slight elevation in prices with more movement on x8 DDR3 and lower density DDR2. I don’t expect these increases to last long, as the markets in the U.S. and Europe could not maintain them once the Asian markets open back up.
I am going to be closely watching Samsung’s presence in the open market with their news that they are going to use 20-nm processing for more than 50 percent of its DRAM output this year. That process usually yields 30 percent higher speeds, almost 2x the densities or 25 percent less power consumption compared to the previous 28-nm process. Samsung is definitely strengthening their position in the tablet, smart phone and server markets.
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.