Semiconductor market news(Jan. 01 to Jan. 07)丨Huawei Issues Rush Orders for Crucial Components; NVIDIA H20 AI GPU For China To Be Mass Produced In Q2 2024; The three major SSD manufacturers Rumored to Increase Prices by 50%

01. Memory prices will rebound in 2024

Driven by suppliers' production cuts and the recovery in demand for smartphones and PCs, memory prices have begun to rebound from the fourth quarter of 2023. According to the latest report, memory prices will rise further in the first half of this year, and memory manufacturers' profits will rebound significantly in the second half and 2025.

Having said that, we must be cautious. Although memory demand will recover within this year, there is still uncertainty in the market. After OEM manufacturers' inventory levels normalize in the second half of 2023, demand for smartphones and PCs will recover in the first half of this year. It is expected that after the inventory adjustment is completed in the first half of the year, demand for server replenishment will also emerge in the second half of the year.

Shipments of major products such as PCs, smartphones and servers are expected to increase this year. However, due to the uncertainty of terminal demand and general server demand, the growth rate this year is expected to be relatively moderate. In addition, demand for AI servers and high-bandwidth memory (HBM) will remain strong in 2024, driven by the continued expansion of device-side AI.

02. The three major SSD manufacturers Rumored to Increase Prices by 50%

Low-price SSDs (Solid-state drives) may have become a thing of the past in 2024.

An industry source suggests that NAND manufacturers, facing losses, have been actively adjusting prices. Since these manufacturers also produce SSDs for their own brands, their own brands need to follow suit in price increases, potentially influencing the entire market.

Recent rumors have also claimed that the SSDs from memory manufacturers are set to increase by 50%, with some sources suggesting at least a 30% hike. Whether this is an tentative price adjustment or a market-driven price surge prompted by demand remains to be closely observed.

03. Huawei Issues Rush Orders for Crucial Components

In a strong push for foldable smartphones, reportedly, Huawei has issued rush orders to its supply chain lately. The shipment target for foldable smartphones this year is set at ten million units, marking a nearly threefold increase from the 2.6 million units shipped last year.

Among them, the critical mobile phone component CIS, due to a rebound from the market downturn, has seen prices starting to surge. Main CIS supplier, Samsung, has raised prices by 25% to 30% this quarter.

To avoid the risk of escalating prices, CIS has become Huawei’s top priority for stocking up, primarily supplied by the Chinese CIS supplier, OmniVision. The substantial increase in overall shipment targets for foldable smartphone has driven a several-fold growth in CIS stockpiles.

04. Toshiba suspends NAND factory operations due to earthquake

January 5, 2024, According to reports, Japan's 7.6-magnitude earthquake forced chip and electronics companies in Ishikawa Prefecture to suspend operations. Affected companies include Toshiba, GlobalWafers, Murata, etc.

The report pointed out that Toshiba has announced the closure of its NAND flash memory factory in Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture to conduct a safety assessment. The company said it will decide when to resume production once it completes an assessment of the production lines.

In addition, Taiyo Yuden, Tower, Shin-Etsu, GlobalWafers and TPSCo (a joint venture of Tower and Nuvoton) have also temporarily suspended the production of semiconductor products. Among them, Taiyo Yuden has issued a statement saying that there was no major damage to the buildings and production facilities at the group's production site, and Production is expected to resume after facility inspection.

05. NVIDIA H20 AI GPU For China To Be Mass Produced In Q2 2024

NVIDIA To Resume AI GPU Shipments To China With Mass Production on H20 GPUs Starting In Q2 2024.

In terms of specifications, the H20 AI GPU is a cut-down variant of the H100 GPU that features 96 GB memory capacities operating at up to 4.0 Tb/s, 296 TFLOPs Compute power, & using the GH100 die with a performance density of 2.9 TFLOPs/die versus H100's 19.4.

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