DRAM Pricing Projected To Increase After 'Minor Facility Event' At Micron Fab
Today, DRAM market analysts TrendForce issued a press release stating that one of Inotera's two major DRAM fabrication plants suspended production after an incident caused the contamination of silicon wafers. Attributed to a 'malfunctioning of the nitrogen gas dispensing system' by TrendForce, such an event would be a costly and time-consuming process to rectify.
DRAMeXchange (a division of TrendForce) projected this represents a loss of ~60k of Inotera's 125k monthly DRAM wafer production total, and hence a halt in production at the facility would amount to a global production loss of around ~5.5%. This figure does not include the number of wafers already lost through contamination.
Inotera, also known as Micron Technology Taiwan, has been subsidiary of memory manufacturer Micron Technology Ltd since its purchase in Dec. 2016. In a statement to Reuters, Micron denied a nitrogen leaking incident and a need to evacuate personnel, calling such reports rumours, but nonetheless confirmed a 'minor facility event'. They went on to state that 'operations are recovering speedily without material impact to the business'.
DRAMeXchange's tracking data already indicates a response in the DRAM market, with some DDR3 and DDR4 contract pricing already up as much as 3% over the course of a session. It's not clear however if that's a reflection of uncertainty or actual shortages already becoming apparent.
Hopefully Micron's versions of events are true. The summer months are critically important for the introduction of new PC platforms, and this year includes new products from both Intel and AMD; any shortages could have a amplified impact on the buy-in price for early adopters.
SOURCES: TrendForce Press Release, DRAMeXchange Data July 5th 5pm BST, Reuters