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Memory controller suppliers urged to build up inventory in advance
Siu Han, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES
Wednesday 16 October 2019
Judging from TSMC's rising capacity utilization rates, downstream memory device vendors have asked their controller suppliers to build up their inventory in advance, according to industry sources.
Memory controller developers demand mostly 28nm process technology to fabricate their solutions, and have been recently warned that 28nm process capacity is set to become tight, the sources indicated.
As a contract chipmaker that memory controller suppliers are keen to work with, TSMC has already seen 16nm and more advanced process capacity fall short of demand, resulting in extended delivery lead times, the sources said.
Memory controller suppliers have therefore seen their downstream customers step up their pace of orders in the fourth quarter of 2019, the sources continued. In particular, SSD controller specialists have started aggressively building up their inventories and demanded more supplies from their packaging substrate partners, the sources noted.
Memory controller providers also anticipate customer demand will be picking up prior to China's November 11 Singles' Day and year-end shopping season in the US and Europe, the sources said.
In addition, NAND flash contract prices have stopped falling and are likely to rise by up to 10% in the fourth quarter, according to the sources. The price outlook next year is also bullish, the sources said.