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Memory chip market to grow 32 pct in 2021, Korean chipmakers set to bask in boom

All News 08:34 June 17, 2021

SEOUL, June 17 (Yonhap) -- The global memory chip market is forecast to increase 32 percent this year, a report showed Thursday, boding well for South Korean chipmakers that dominate the sector.

Sales growth for the DRAM market is expected to reach 41 percent in 2021, the second largest among 33 integrated circuit (IC) products, while that of NAND flash is projected to be 22 percent, according to the latest McClean report released by market researcher IC Insights.

"It is expected that the price per bit of DRAM will continue to rise in the second half of this year as supply remains tight," IC Insights said. "The price per bit of NAND declined 26 percent from 1Q20 to 1Q21, but pricing stabilized in 2Q21 and is expected to increase over the remaining two quarters of this year."

This file photo, provided by Samsung Electronics Co. on May 21, 2020, shows the company's chip plant in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

DRAM and NAND flash are the two main chip export items for South Korea's two largest chipmakers -- Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc.

Samsung leads both the DRAM and NAND flash markets with 42 percent and 33.5 percent shares, respectively, in the first quarter, according to data from industry tracker TrendForce. SK hynix is the world's second-largest DRAM supplier with a 29 percent share and the No. 4 player in NAND flash with a 12.3 percent share.

Besides memory, IC Insights said the analog IC market is forecast to expand by 25 percent this year, while the logic IC market is estimated to increase by 24 percent.

The market researcher expected the overall IC market to grow by 24 percent in 2021, advancing from its previous forecast of 19 percent growth, with an estimated 21 percent increase in unit shipments and a 2 percent jump in average selling price.

"A growth rate of 24 percent would be the third-largest increase in the global IC market over the past 16 years, being surpassed only by the 33 percent surge displayed in 2010 and the 25 percent increase registered in 2017," it said.

This file photo, provided by SK hynix Inc. on Feb. 1, 2021, shows the company's M16 chip factory in Icheon, 80 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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