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Sudden Drop in Cryptocurrency Prices Hurts Graphics DRAM Market in 3Q21, Says TrendForce

The stay-at-home economy remains robust due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so the sales of gaming products such as game consoles and the demand for related components are being kept at a decent level, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, the values of cryptocurrencies have plummeted in the past two months because of active interventions from many governments, with the graphics DRAM market entering into a bearish turn in 3Q21 as a result. While graphics DRAM prices in the spot market will likely show the most severe fluctuations, contract prices of graphics DRAM are expected to increase by 10-15% QoQ in 3Q21 since DRAM suppliers still prioritize the production of server DRAM over other product categories, and the vast majority of graphics DRAM supply is still cornered by major purchasers.

It should be pointed out that, given the highly volatile nature of the graphics DRAM market, it is relatively normal for graphics DRAM prices to reverse course or undergo a more drastic fluctuation compared with other mainstream DRAM products. As such, should the cryptocurrency market remain bearish, and manufacturers of smartphones or PCs reduce their upcoming production volumes in light of the ongoing pandemic and component supply issues, graphics DRAM prices are unlikely to experience further increase in 4Q21. Instead, TrendForce expects prices in 4Q21 to largely hold flat compared to the third quarter.

Samsung Electronics Announces Second Quarter 2021 Results

Samsung Electronics today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021. Total consolidated revenue was KRW 63.67 trillion, a 20% increase from the previous year and a record for the second quarter. Operating profit increased 34% from the previous quarter to KRW 12.57 trillion as market conditions improved in the memory market, operations normalized at the Austin foundry fab, and as effective global supply chain management (SCM) helped maintain solid profitability for the finished product businesses.

The Semiconductor business saw a significant improvement in earnings as memory shipments exceeded previous guidance and price increases were higher than expected, while the Company strengthened its cost competitiveness. For the Display Panel Business, a one-off gain and an increase in overall prices boosted profits.

JEDEC Publishes the New LPDDR5X Memory Standard

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in standards development for the microelectronics industry, today announced the publication of JESD209-5B, Low Power Double Data Rate 5 (LPDDR5). JESD209-5B includes both an update to the LPDDR5 standard that is focused on improving performance, power and flexibility, and a new LPDDR5X standard, which is an optional extension to LPDDR5.

Taken together, LPDDR5 and LPDDR5X are designed to significantly boost memory speed and efficiency for a variety of uses including mobile devices, such as 5G smartphones and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. Developed by JEDEC's JC-42.6 Subcommittee for Low Power Memories, JESD209-5B is available for download from the JEDEC website.

SK hynix Reports Second Quarter 2021 Results

SK hynix Inc. today announced financial results for its second quarter 2021 ended on June 30, 2021. The consolidated revenue of the second quarter 2021 was 10.322 trillion won, while the operating profit amounted to 2.695 trillion won and the net income 1.988 trillion won. Operating margin for the quarter was 26% and net margin was 19%.

It was the first time in three years that SK hynix recorded the quarterly revenue of more than 10 trillion won as the memory market condition, which began to recover earlier this year, continued to improve in the second quarter. The company last logged more than 10 trillion won in the third quarter of 2018 when the memory market was booming.

Kingston FURY Released, New Lineup Takes Systems to the Next Level

Kingston FURY, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, announced today it has begun shipping its high-performance memory: Kingston FURY Renegade, Kingston FURY Beast, and Kingston FURY Impact. Enthusiasts and gamers can give their systems the upgrade they need and want with modules in DDR4 RGB, DDR4 non-RGB, and DDR3.

Perfect for the gamer who wants cutting-edge performance, Kingston FURY Renegade DDR4 RGB1 allows you to crank up your frame rate, keep your streams broadcasting smoothly, and plow through your highlight reel editing. Offering speeds up to 4600 MHz2 paired with quick CL15-CL19 latencies. The dynamic RGB lighting utilizes Kingston FURY's patented Infrared Sync Technology to provide smooth, synchronized lighting effects. With its own aggressive, stylish black heat spreader and matching black PCB Kingston FURY Renegade DDR4 also provides ultra-fast speeds up to 5333 MHz2, paired with quick CL13-CL20 timings. Both are Intel XMP certified with profiles that are optimized for Intel's latest chipsets - just select the hand-tuned profile in your BIOS and you're ready to strike fear in the hearts of your foes. Available in single module capacities of 8 GB - 32 GB and kits of 2, 4, and 8 with capacities up to 256 GB.

TEAMGROUP Announces the 8TB MP34Q M.2 PCIe SSD and High Endurance Surveillance System Memory Card

To meet the market demand for large-capacity data storage, TEAMGROUP today announced two high-performance, huge-capacity storage products: the TEAMGROUP MP34Q M.2 PCIe SSD, which utilizes QLC Flash and the PCIe Gen3x4 interface and comes with capacities up to 8 TB; and the HIGH ENDURANCE CARD designed for high-resolution surveillance systems. Whether it is for computer equipment or security systems used at home or a business, TEAMGROUP provides reliable upgrade solutions for those who seek the best performance and stability.

Today the company announced the TEAMGROUP MP34Q M.2 PCIe SSD, which utilizes QLC Flash and the PCIe Gen3x4 interface. It also supports NVMe 1.3 and the Dual Cache technologies: SLC Caching and DRAM Cache Buffer. The MP34Q M.2 PCIe SSD offers a massive capacity of up to 8 TB, excellent read/write speeds of up to 3,400/3,000 MB/s, and an official five-year warranty with purchase, so consumers can buy and upgrade with confidence.

DRAM Prices for 3Q21 Projected to Undergo Minor QoQ Increase of 3-8%: Trendforce

As third quarters have typically been peak seasons for the production of various end-products, the sufficiency ratio of DRAM is expected to undergo a further decrease in 3Q21, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, DRAM buyers are now carrying a relatively high DRAM inventory due to their amplified purchases of electronic components in 1H21. The QoQ increase in DRAM contract prices are hence expected to slightly narrow from 18-23% in 2Q21 to 3-8% in 3Q21. Looking ahead to 4Q21, TrendForce believes that DRAM supply will continue to rise, thereby leading to either a further narrowing of price hikes or pressure constraining the potential price hike of DRAM products.

From the perspective of demand, the stay-at-home economy has resulted in persistently high demand for notebook computers. Although discrepancies still exist among notebook brands' inventory levels of various components, these brands are still making an aggressive attempt at maximizing their production of notebooks. However, as most of these brands are still carrying about 8-10 weeks' worth of PC DRAM inventory (which is relatively high), PC DRAM purchasing strategies from the buyers' side will therefore remain relatively conservative. From the perspective of supply, due to the rising demand for server DRAM, the production capacity allocated to PC DRAM is still in a severe supply crunch. Hence, DRAM suppliers are firm in their attitudes to raise PC DRAM quotes, and TrendForce expects the price negotiations between PC DRAM buyers and suppliers in 3Q21 to become both lengthier and more difficult as a result, with contract prices likely finalized at the end of July. Even so, what is now certain is that both sides have reached some level of understanding regarding the ongoing price hike of PC DRAM products. TrendForce forecasts a 3-8% increase in PC DRAM contract prices for 3Q21.

SK hynix Starts Mass Production of 1anm DRAM Using EUV Equipment

SK hynix announced that it has started this month mass production of the 8 Gigabit (Gb) LPDDR4 mobile DRAM based on the 1anm, which is the fourth generation of the 10 nm process technology. As the semiconductor industry classifies the 10 nm DRAM products, naming them after the alphabets, the 1a technology is the fourth generation, following the first three generations of the 1x, 1y, and 1z. SK hynix plans to provide the latest mobile DRAM products to smartphone manufacturers from the second half of 2021. This is the first time that SK hynix adopted the EUV equipment for mass production after proving the stability of the cutting edge lithography technology through partial adoption for its 1ynm DRAM production.

As technology migration continues to ultra-micro levels, an increasing number of semiconductor companies are adopting the EUV equipment for the photo process where circuit patterns are drawn on the wafer surfaces. Industry experts believe that a semiconductor company's leadership in technology will depend on how it can fully take advantage of the EUV equipment. SK hynix plans to use the EUV technology for production of all its 1anm DRAM products going forward as it has proved the stability of the process.

MSI Announces the SPATIUM M-series M.2 NVMe SSDs

MSI is announcing the launch of its solid state drive (SSD) product line with the introduction of SPATIUM. The initial product offering will include M480, M470, and M370, which are Gen4 and Gen3 PCIe NVMe SSDs in compact M.2 2280 form factors that can be installed into compatible desktop motherboards and laptops.

MSI continues to refine its identity as a high-performance PC brand and SPATIUM was envisioned to expand our ecosystem and cover the high-performance storage category. These SSDs are built with high-quality, high-density 3D NAND flash that deliver the best compromise of performance and endurance for professionals, content creators, and gamers. Among the performance improving technologies include a DRAM cache buffer for M480 and M470, and a SLC cache for all announced models.

ZADAK Spark DDR5 Memory Unveiled

For gamers who are ready to go to the next level, ZADAK, a leading provider of enthusiast PC gaming components and innovative water cooling solutions under Apacer Technology announces the next step forward in gaming DRAM. The newest member of its high end SPARK lineup is a DDR5 RGB illuminated gaming DRAM module which is available in 16 GB and 32 GB capacities. Gamers who demand t he fastest clock speeds will be able to choose from modules ranging from 4800 MHz all the way up to 7200 MHz.

DDR5 also features another important upgrade: power management is no longer handled by the motherboard, but by a PMIC (power management integrated circuit) on the module itself. While DDR4 modules consume 1.2 V, DDR5 modules only require 1.1 V. It sounds like a small difference, but over hours and days of gaming, it adds up to significant power savings. The PMIC also gives overclockers more options when it comes to tweaking settings. ns when it comes to tweaking settings.

Micron Technology Reports Results for the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2021

Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) today announced results for its third quarter of fiscal 2021, which ended June 3, 2021. "Micron set multiple market and product revenue records in our third quarter and achieved the largest sequential earnings improvement in our history," said Micron Technology President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. "Our industry-leading 1α DRAM and 176-layer NAND now represent a meaningful portion of our production, and Micron is in the best position ever to capitalize on the long-term demand trends across the data center, intelligent edge and user devices."

Certain Intel Xeon "Sapphire Rapids" SKUs Come with On-Package HBM

Intel today, in its 2021 International Supercomputing Conference presentation, revealed that certain next-generation Xeon "Sapphire Rapids" SKUs come with on-package high-bandwidth memory (HBM). Given the context of its presentation, these could be special SKUs designed for high-density HPC setups, in which the processor package includes certain amount of "PMEM" (package memory), besides the processor's 8-channel DDR5 memory interface.

The size of the HBM PMEM, and its position in the memory hierarchy, were detailed, too. Given its high-density applications, PMEM may not serve as a victim cache for the processor, but rather be capable of serving as main memory, with none of the DDR5 DRAM channels populated with DIMMs. On machines with DIMMs, the PMEM will serve as a victim cache for the processor's on-die last-level cache, accelerating the memory I/O. "The next-generation of Intel Xeon Scalable processors (code-named "Sapphire Rapids) will offer integrated High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), providing a dramatic boost in memory bandwidth and a significant performance improvement for HPC applications that operate memory bandwidth-sensitive workloads. Users can power through workloads using just High Bandwidth Memory or in combination with DDR5," says Intel.

Team Group Steps into the New DDR5 Era, Launches Team Elite DDR5 DIMM

At the end of 2020, TEAMGROUP reached a cooperation agreement with top DRAM wafer manufacturers and started working on DDR5 technology. Since then, TEAMGROUP has dedicated to the research and development of DDR5 modules, collaborating with various major motherboard manufacturers to ensure that each R&D stage undergoes comprehensive testing and to deliver products of the highest quality that the industry has ever seen. TEAMGROUP is leading the industry today as we announce our official launch of the world's first DDR5 memory module for desktops, the TEAMGROUP ELITE U-DIMM DDR5, which is estimated to be available on major EC platforms for consumers worldwide by the end of June and the beginning of July.

The initial launch of TEAMGROUP ELITE DDR5 memory module will support 16GBx2 of capacity at a frequency of 4800 MHz, with a voltage of 1.1 V CL40-40-40-77, which complies with the standard specifications defined by the JEDEC association. Compared to the maximum 3200 MHz standard frequency in the DDR4 generation, the DDR5 is able to increase the speed to up to 50%. The low 1.1 V voltage is also more energy efficient than its previous generation; to ensure minimum noise interference for the memory module, the power management is transferred from the motherboard onto the memory with an additional power management IC (PMIC) for more effective system load control. The most incredible feature of ELITE DDR5 is doubling the 16 banks of DDR4 to those of 32 in DDR5 to improve the IC structure, providing double access availability. An on-die ECC (error correction code) included in the DRAM IC is also available for self-recovery of the DRAM unit, ensuring that DRAM systems with DDR5 can obtain higher levels of stability.

DDR5 Shipments Expected To Overtake DDR4 in 2023

The latest Status of the Memory Industry report from June 2021 published by Yole Developments shows the memory market continues to grow and is expected to exceed 200 billion USD in 2026. The introduction of DDR5 memory will be extremely quick with shipments expected to exceed that of DDR4 in 2023 and will account for over 90% of bits shipped by 2026. The major DRAM manufacturers have all finalized their mainstream DDR5 designs with shipments from several having already started. The report also predicts an increase in the amount of DRAM used in all product categories which will contribute to strong revenue growth for memory manufacturers.

Samsung Brings Flagship Features to Broader Smartphone Market with LPDDR5 Multichip Package

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing its latest smartphone memory solution, the LPDDR5 UFS-based multichip package (uMCP). Samsung's uMCP integrates the fastest LPDDR5 DRAM with the latest UFS 3.1 NAND flash, delivering flagship-level performance to a much broader range of smartphone users.

"Samsung's new LPDDR5 uMCP is built upon our rich legacy of memory advancements and packaging know-how, enabling consumers to enjoy uninterrupted streaming, gaming and mixed reality experiences even in lower-tier devices," said Young-soo Sohn, vice president of the Memory Product Planning Team at Samsung Electronics. "As 5G-compatible devices become more mainstream, we anticipate that our latest multichip package innovation will accelerate the market transition to 5G and beyond, and help to bring the metaverse into our everyday lives a lot faster."

Graphics DRAM Contract Prices Projected to Rise by 8-13% QoQ in 3Q21 Due to Tight Supply in Contract Market, Says TrendForce

TrendForce's latest investigations find considerable discrepancy between prices for graphics DRAM products in the contract market and in the spot market. Quotes for graphics DRAM products continue to rise in the contract market as the severe undersupply situation persists. Furthermore, the supply fulfillment rates for orders from some medium- and small-size clients have been hovering around 30%. This undersupply situation is expected to persist through 3Q21, during which graphics DRAM contract prices are expected to rise by 8-13% QoQ. Regarding the spot market, on the other hand, the value of ETH experienced continued uptrend from the start of 2021 until May, thereby driving up the demand for graphics cards, regardless of them belonging to the newer or older series. At the height of the graphics card boom, spot prices of graphics DRAM products were up to 200% higher than contract prices. Demand from miners for graphics cards are expected to be relatively muted before cryptocurrencies return to their previous bullish trends, and the gap between the spot and contract prices of graphics DRAM products will likely narrow in 3Q21 as a result.

SK Hynix Admits that a Batch of its DRAM Wafers is Defective, Downplays Scale of the Problem

Korean DRAM and NAND flash giant, SK Hynix, admitted that a rather big batch of its DRAM wafers is defective and in circulation. The size of this defective batch is rumored to be 240,000 wafers according to a Yonhap report, although the company downplays the scale of the problem citing its monthly production output of 1.8 million wafers.

The company said that it is working with its customers who received these wafers, for recall and replacement. "We're currently talking to a limited number of customers affected by this to address the issue. While it's too early to estimate the potential losses, we don't think they would be that significant as the defect is within the range of typical quality issue check." Besides this, the company is battling rumors surrounding the scale of defective DRAM wafers by the company, in circulation. "The scale of the potential losses mentioned in the rumor is absolutely not true and exaggerated," the company said, in a statement to The Register.

VIPER GAMING Launches VIPER ELITE II Performance DDR4 Memory

VIPER, a trademarked gaming brand of PATRIOT and a global leader in performance memory, solid-state drives and flash storage solutions, today is proud to announce the market launch of their VIPER ELITE II DDR4 PERFORMANCE MEMORY. The VIPER ELITE II inherits its successful design from the award-winning ELITE PERFORMANCE MEMORY series and continues to deliver unparalleled stability and overclocking potential to hardware enthusiasts and hardcore gamers. It is customized for the PC builder looking for an RGB-free performance-centric memory solution with a wide range of speeds and capacities.

"The VIPER ELITE II is a sensible upgrade to our popular and award-winning VIPER ELITE series, and with it, we take everything back to the basics and essentials to how an excellent DRAM module should be built. For the VIPER ELITE II, we have focused on speed, capacity, and stability," said Roger Shinmoto, the Vice President of VIPER. "These memory kits offer many options for gamers or content creators who are looking to escalate their system performance to the next level and still maintain a stealthy look inside their PCs."

Micron Delivers 176-layer NAND and 1α (1-alpha) DRAM Technology

Micron, the US-based manufacturer of various kinds of memory technologies, has today announced some quite interesting products at its Computex 2021 keynote. For starters, the company has announced a new portfolio of products based on 176-layer NAND. There are currently two products listed that use this new technology and those are the Micron 3400 and 2450 M.2 NVMe SSDs. Based on the PCIe 4.0 interface, the 2450 SSD lineup is designed as a value-oriented solution that comes in M.2-2280, M.2-2242, and M.2-2230 sizes. It ranges from 256 GB to 1 TB in capacities, which are supposed to be priced as a value purchase.

In a contrast, the 3400 SSD is M.2-2280 design, meant for only the highest performance. The sequential read speeds go up to 6600 MB/s, while the sequential writes go up to 5000 MB/s (in the case of the 2 TB model). Capacities range from 512 GB to 2 TB and only the 1 TB and 2 TB variants have the 5000 MB/s write speeds, while the 512 GB version is capped at 3600 MB/s speed. Both SSD models are featuring a heat spreader on top of NAND chips and spot an in-house and Micron-developed NVMe 1.4 SSD controller. However, Micron does note that the company is free to use any 3rd party SSD controller as we are deep in component shortages with high demand for SSDs. You can get an in-depth look at the 2450 and 3400 M.2 SSDs from Micron's website.

Western Digital Also Announces WD_Black D30 Game Drive SSDs for Xbox Series and PS5

Today at its Flash Perspective event, Western Digital Corp. unveiled three new SSDs for its WD_BLACK portfolio of products, providing gamers around the world with fast, high-performance storage solutions to upgrade their PC and next-gen console gaming experience.

"Our WD_BLACK brand delivers a clear and simple promise to gamers - fast and reliable storage that enhances their gameplay," said Rob Soderbery, executive vice president and GM, Flash Business, Western Digital. "With today's new products, the WD_BLACK portfolio has diverse flash-powered solutions so that every gamer - whether they're just starting out or more advanced - can explore the rich worlds of today's most inventive games."

CORSAIR Teases DDR5-6400 Memory Coming Later This Year

The fifth iteration of DDR technology, called DDR5, is set to arrive later this year. Many makers of DDR4 technology are announcing their plans to switch to the new standard, and CORSAIR is no exception. Known as the maker of high-quality products, CORSAIR has today posted a blog post teasing company's upcoming DDR5 products, and what they will be bringing to the table. For starters, the company has posted data about DDR5 modules that run at 6400 MHz speed, which is assumed to be the speed of the CORSAIR DDR5 modules when they arrive. At such speed, the memory can achieve a bandwidth of 51 GB/s, which is almost double the 26 GB/s that DDR4-3200 MHz memory achieves.

Another point CORSAIR wrote about is the capacity of a single DIMM. With DDR4, the company has made DIMMs that are only up to 32 GB in capacity. However, with DDR5, CORSAIR plans to quadruple that and build a single DDR5 DIMM that has up to 128 GB of memory on it. Another big point was the power required to run the new technology. The DDR4 standard required 1.2 Volts for operation, while the JEDEC specification says that DDR5 needs just 1.1 Volts to run. This will result in a cooler operation of memory modules.

DRAM Revenue for 1Q21 Undergoes 8.7% Increase QoQ Thanks to Increased Shipment as Well as Higher Prices, Says TrendForce

Demand for DRAM exceeded expectations in 1Q21 as the proliferation of WFH and distance education resulted in high demand for notebook computers against market headwinds, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Also contributing to the increased DRAM demand was Chinese smartphone brands' ramp-up of component procurement while these companies, including OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi, attempted to seize additional market shares after Huawei's inclusion on the Entity List. Finally, DRAM demand from server manufacturers also saw a gradual recovery. Taken together, these factors led to higher-than-expected shipments from various DRAM suppliers in 1Q21 despite the frequent shortage of such key components as IC and passive components. On the other hand, DRAM prices also entered an upward trajectory in 1Q21 in accordance with TrendForce's previous forecasts. In light of the increases in both shipments and quotes, all DRAM suppliers posted revenue growths in 1Q21, and overall DRAM revenue for the quarter reached US$19.2 billion, an 8.7% growth QoQ.

Demand for PC, mobile, graphics, and special DRAM remains healthy in 2Q21. Furthermore, after two to three quarters of inventory reduction during which their DRAM demand was relatively sluggish, some server manufacturers have now kicked off a new round of procurement as they expect a persistent increase in DRAM prices. TrendForce therefore forecasts a significant QoQ increase in DRAM ASP in 2Q21. In conjunction with increased bit shipment, this price hike will likely drive total DRAM revenue for 2Q21 to increase by more than 20% QoQ.

Samsung Unveils Industry-First Memory Module Incorporating New CXL Interconnect

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today unveiled the industry's first memory module supporting the new Compute Express Link (CXL) interconnect standard. Integrated with Samsung's Double Data Rate 5 (DDR5) technology, this CXL-based module will enable server systems to significantly scale memory capacity and bandwidth, accelerating artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads in data centers.

The rise of AI and big data has been fueling the trend toward heterogeneous computing, where multiple processors work in parallel to process massive volumes of data. CXL—an open, industry-supported interconnect based on the PCI Express (PCIe) 5.0 interface—enables high-speed, low latency communication between the host processor and devices such as accelerators, memory buffers and smart I/O devices, while expanding memory capacity and bandwidth well beyond what is possible today. Samsung has been collaborating with several data center, server and chipset manufacturers to develop next-generation interface technology since the CXL consortium was formed in 2019.

Samsung to Replace Intel as Top Semiconductor Supplier in Q2-2021: IC Insights

Samsung Electronics is expected to regain the distinction of the top semiconductor supplier for the 2nd quarter of 2021, re-taking the lead from Intel, according to a report by market research firm IC Insights. Samsung's growth rides on the back of a resurgent memory market, as the company supplies both DRAM and NAND flash of various types. This is also helped by the fact that Intel's sales in are expected to remain flat around the same period of time. This would be Samsung's return to the top spot for the first time since 2018, when memory prices crashed, sending down production, in a bid to better allow the channel to digest existing inventory.

SK hynix Inc. Reports First Quarter 2021 Results

SK hynix Inc. today announced financial results for its first quarter 2021 ended on March 31, 2021. The consolidated revenue of the first quarter 2021 was 8.494 trillion won while the operating profit amounted to 1.324 trillion won, and the net income 993 billion won. Operating margin for the quarter was 16% and net margin was 12%.

The Company made better results both QoQ and YoY in the first quarter as the semiconductor market conditions improved earlier this year. Although the first quarter is usually off-season of the semiconductor industry, the Company said that the market conditions improved as demand for memory products for PCs and mobiles increased. In addition, cost competitiveness has increased as yields of major products have improved. Through this, the revenue and the operating profit increased by 7% and 37%, respectively, compared to the previous quarter.
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