Revenue of Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron — three major server DRAM suppliers – grew 10.3 percent sequentially to $6.975 billion in Q1 2018, according to TrendForce.
The double digit growth was due to tight supply of server DRAM, resulting in high average selling prices.
“Even with the influx of orders from data centers, the average share of advanced processes of server DRAM has remained low, as Samsung is the only supplier to have expanded the share of its 18 nm technology in 2018,” Mark Liu, senior analyst at DRAMeXchange, said.
The migration of SK Hynix and Micron to the 18 nm and 17 nm manufacturing processes, respectively, have been constrained by their limited yield rates in Q1. Server DRAM supply is likely to witness an improvement in H2 2018, following the inauguration of some new capacities and adjustments in product mix.
The average content per box of server DRAM increased along with the higher penetration rates of Intel’s Purley platform. The utilization rates of server modules, such as DDR4 32 GB RDIMM 2666 MHz, picked up significantly in Q1. The average margins of the three major DRAM suppliers for server DRAM also rose.
Samsung has 44.6 percent share in the server DRAM market in Q1, with revenues rising by 6.5 percent sequentially to $3.108 billion.
Samsung’s 18 nm process will account for around 70 percent of its output by the end of this year, up from 50 percent now. Its focus on the 18nm process has allowed Samsung to maintain a lead over rivals in the cost structure and margin of server DRAM. Products based on 18 nm technologies enjoy 20 percent improvement in cost over 20 nm products.
SK Hynix’s server DRAM revenues grew 13.2 percent to $2.251 billion due to the large-scale shift of its capacity to server products at the end of last year, and the continuous rise of Server DRAM ASP in Q1.
Micron revenue touched $1.616 billion from server DRAM products, clocking growth of 14.3 percent. Micron achieved growth mainly due to US data centers.