The market supply of MLCCs (multilayer ceramic capacitors) is still very tight. As previously reported, a number of major lines from AVX, Murata, Panasonic, KOA and ROHM have been on allocation for some time now. This includes not only MLCC’s but resistors as well. The GCJ, GCM, GRM series from Murata, RK73 from KOA, Panasonic’s ERJ, RoHM’s MCR are some of the examples where lead times have been steadily increasing, reaching 30 to 40 weeks on certain lines. Further, according to a number of authorized distributors, we haven’t yet reached the peak of the shortage and the supply issues are expected to continue over the next 2 to 3 months. Distributors are tightening up supply and are being very cautious on sharing stock with the open market.
Infineon distributors are reporting an increased demand for leadless package MOSFETs, driven by demand from the tablet and smart phone market. These are designs that help save space and run applications more effectively. Lead times for leadless package MOSFETs are stretching to 15-20 weeks and lead times for automotive deliveries are reportedly over 20 wks.
Additionally, the lead times for some legacy IR series MOSFETs have been increasing following the acquisition by Infineon with IRFHM830XXX, IRFHM831XXX, IRLHM620XXX among the affected product families. Pricing is reportedly being impacted by wafer shortages and currency exchange fluctuations . This is not the case across all series as price and lead times for IR3550/3551/3553/3555/3556XXX series are stable at the moment.
Infineon's whole range of MOSFETs are widely used in switch mode power supplies (SMPS), computing, motor control and drives, consumer, mobile devices, lighting solutions and automotive applications.
A number of Marvell distributors have been hearing that there might be a price increase on some 88AP270MA2 series. These are PXA27x processors that feature Intel® XScale technology and Intel Wireless MMX™ technology to enable high-performance multimedia acceleration with an industry-proven instruction set. They are generally used in wireless handheld and battery-powered devices.
For some time now the mobile market has been very quiet but we’re starting to hear some rumblings of change on the horizon. The adoption rate of Kaby Lake has been slower than expected, in part because of the modest, incremental change in technology and also because of the fact that Windows 7 can’t be supported on this series, making corporate customers more inclined to stick with Skylake. We’ve seen plenty of instances of pricing and availabilities being used to spur along changes, either special deals on new technologies or cut backs in availabilities in previous generations, and there is concern that we may start to see either or both in the coming weeks to kick start the move from Skylake to Kaby Lake. We’ve already started to see some softening on a few Core i7 Kaby Lake models but aside from that, pricing and availabilities have been pretty stable. We expect to see things pick up in the dog days of summer.
Pricing in the desktop space has been very stable after bottoming out in March although activity on several “T” models has picked up in recent weeks owing to timing and upsides. A few lower-end Kaby Lake Celerons have seen significant price increases lately due to supply constraints, but we’ve seen some deals on the Skylake counterparts there, so faster-than-expected transitions might be to blame for these changes.
Skylake Xeons are still a month or two off from fully launching, but there are some indicators that the transition from Broadwell might not be so smooth. Already, we’ve seen a handful of instances where lead times on Broadwell and Haswells have stretched modestly and Skylake has been bandied about as a possible explanation. The other factor that has frayed nerves is the fact that the change in technology is so significant. In past transitions, the flow from one series to another was quite simple as most models were consistent from one to the other, starting with Sandy Bridge, with a few newer models introduced each series. The paradigm has completely shifted with Skylake with the introduction of the Scalable Family, which will unify the current E7 and E5 series and represents a ground-up redesign. The new chips will be categorized into four series – Platinum, Golf, Silver and Bronze. The options for transitioning from a given Broadwell model are numerous – for instance, the E5-2680v4 has no less than 6 different options for transitions. It’s hard to say whether there would be any disruptions in supply as a result of this new schematic, but it does introduce a certain element of unpredictability in terms of customer preferences given that demand for a particular SKu could be spread over several options. As a general rule, more complexity in options creates the potential for bottle necks in supply, errors in forecasting and changes in demand. While the old adage says the more things change, the more they stay the same, from our view, the biggest change in Xeons in recent years could very well beget significant changes in the market.
FINISHED GOODS UPDATE
Another month passed and the SSD shortage is still rolling strong. Franchised distributors are reporting no relief over the remainder of the year with more price increases expected to take place at the end of June on both Samsung and Intel SSDs. The majority of distributors have been getting little to no allocation with the majority of drives being quoted on 4-6 week lead times. Intel’s S3500 series is now heavily constrained and the S3510 was announced as EOL at the start of May. The newer S3520 series is also affected with very little supply available. Along with the S3520s, Fusion is expecting the S3710, P3600, and P3700 to remain extremely short over the next quarter. End customers for these drives are finally starting to realize that sending open orders and paying premium pricing is the only option they have in order to fill their backlog. On Samsung enterprise SSD’s, Fusion is still seeing high demand on both EOL SM863 and PM863 series but supply continues to be a challenge for both franchised distributors and open market channels. Successor SM863a and PM863a series are seeing slightly healthier supply for the time being but prices are on the rise. Major distributors have already reported increases of six to seven percent on incoming PM863a series stock since start of May.
The LCD market remained pretty quiet over the past month. Fusion is still seeing some requirements for 14.0” and 15.0” screens; however, due to overall depressed notebook/tablet demand, panel makers are expected to be very conservative in their notebook/tablet panel production plans over the next quarter. This will cause panel makers to reduce their low-end panel shipments for strategic reasons, causing the supply of HD TN (twisted nematic) panels to drop sharply and cause overall panel supply to remain tight this off season. Apple and Microsoft’s use of oxide panels has had an impact on overall notebook IPS (In-Plane Switching) capacity, and some notebook makers have had to rely solely on HD TN panels, which has caused overall notebook panel prices to increase.
Multiple distributors are reporting supply issues for RDIMM, UDIMM and SODIMM modules. The market has been tight for many months, but recently we’ve seen supply decreasing and pricing increasing across the board. Module allocations for distributors are smaller than they’ve ever been.
Many end users are still in need of volume support on 16 and 32GB RDIMMS of the 2400 speed variety. Price increased at a rapid pace toward the end of April, and many distributors are bracing for decreased supply and increased pricing all the way through the end of 2017. Distributors are unable to reliably quote their customers, since delivery commitment and pricing are subject to change up until the product is ready for shipment. Manufacturers have been encouraging their customers to increase their buy price at the last minute, in order increase the chance that their full order will be shipped.
Adding to the tight supply of 2400 speed RDIMMS, manufacturers have been taking volume orders and putting more focus on production of 2666 speed product. Samsung is not reporting firm delivery dates on 16 and 32GB RDIMM 2666 yet, but have indicated 4-6 weeks for delivery. As demand will continue to increase, Samsung is already preparing customers for major price hikes on a regular basis for the months ahead. Samsung is asking distributor partners to cancel their backlogs on smaller capacity RDIMMS, since their focus has been on the production of larger capacity modules. Micron and Hynix have also been struggling to fill backlog orders, but they are expecting increased manufacturing capacity by late July.