We have yet to see any improvement on the supply of discretes from most major manufacturers like Vishay, On Semi, Nexperia and Infineo, as lead times are still stretched and are showing no signs of reducing before Q4 2018. Power MOSFET’s are taking the biggest hit across the board moving from long lead times into full allocation. On Semi Zener diodes are facing tight supply with lead times stretching from 26-40 weeks, especially for packaging type SOT-233. SMB package and SOT223 lead times are over 30 weeks and many series on allocation status. Most hot selling Nexperia part numbers have lead times of over 26 weeks.
Vishay lead times continue to increase on various discrete series ranging now from 30-60 weeks. Schottky rectifiers are the most affected product line with 40-60 weeks’ lead time. We’ve also seen an increased demand on Infineon Power MOSFET’s BSC series and BSB series. Small Signal pricing remains the same with a small increase of lead times, while Power MOSFETs pricing and lead times have increased from 28-41 weeks with heavy allocation being placed on these parts.
The worldwide resistor situation is increasingly dire as manufacturing bandwidth has been so focused on MLCCs lately. As the shortage gains momentum, critical allocation has been placed on Thickfilm and MELF resistors from multiple manufacturers including Vishay, KOA, Panasonic and ROHM. KOA resistors with sizes 0805 and 1206 are quite critical, while 0402 and 0603 remain availabile as normal. Standard lead times have jumped from 18 weeks up to 60-90 weeks, with Vishay Thickfilm resistors’ lead times the hardest hit. AVX and Yageo resistor lead times remain stable for now, but will likely follow.
Due to the imbalance of supply and demand, backlogs for tantalum capacitors are starting to reach a point that exceeds manufacturers’ capacity given the increase in defense and aerospace demand and the pre-planned price increase fall at the same time. We’ve heard that AVX has already tightened up the order processing to a certain point and stopped taking orders on a select list of part numbers. We can expect AVX’s competitors’ available stock to become increasingly scarce and more expensive.
Samsung announced price increment for MLCC across the board for case sizes that fall under the category 0603/1206/0402/0805. The new price applies to new orders and deliveries, effective May 1. The percentage price increase has alleviated 20-30% (of what?) and the ever-growing demand in the consumer and commercial industries are contributing factors. The other competitors including mfg ie Yageo, Murata and Taiyo Yuden have also taken first steps toward the incremental increase. Rumors are that Taiyo Yuden has a plan in their pipeline to shift some production capacity to focus place high priority on the automotive industry.
In the sixth and what is expected to be the final month of the Great Broadwell Shortage of 2017-18, we’ve still been seeing demand for a variety of models up and down the E5-2600v4 stack as a result of longer-than-palatable direct lead times and demand upsides. Towards the end of Q1, the supply spigots opened up, not because of any sudden increase in production but more due to the fact that unfulfilled forecasts from earlier in the quarter were finally getting caught up. The sudden influx of parts brought pricing down significantly – so much for that pricing recoil we hypothesized about in this space last month. Still, activity levels have been propped up by the fact that the price deltas are no longer as severe as they once were at the height of the shortage in February. In certain instances, we’ve seen prices reach their pre-shortage levels. Whatever tightness that remains will easily be alleviated by tapering Broadwell demand. The drop off in some segments has been abrupt. We’re keeping an eye out for oversupply situations coming in the months ahead. Past transitions have often resulted in opportunities for previous generations. Skylake pricing has started to come into focus but much work remains to be done on that front. Market activity has been limited still, with some demand-driven upsides providing the bulk of enquiries.
The desktop market has been dormant for some time now and many suppliers have wondered if this is an emblem of a longer-term erosion of global demand for this type of product. A lot of inventory has been slow moving. We’ve started to hear of price reductions coming but the market has yet to bear that out. The mobile market, long a picture of tranquility, has just recently begun to flare up with multiple reports of supply constraints on all Kaby Lake Refresh models. The Kaby Lake transition was quite smooth but the preceding Skylake generation was hardly so. If the tick-tock model were to apply here we could be in for some bumpy months ahead, but we haven’t seen enough to gauge whether this has any legs.
Shortages in HDD are essentially a chain reaction caused by the major shortages in the market on raw materials and board level components. Although 4TB through 10TB are heavily affected, supplies for 6TB and 8TB are more heavily impacted as these are currently the most sought-after capacities on the market. Franchised distributors expect the supplies for HDD to get worse in the market as the raw material shortages are not seeing signs of recovery and may be falling further behind.
Even with the introduction of the Intel S4500 and S4600 series, many are still using the S3520 which has already gone EOL. Although there are increases in activities on the S4500 and S4600 series, transition is still slower than expected due to certain firmware issues which have not been totally eradicated or solved. However, the new replacement series S4510/S4610 expected to be launched soon in the second half of this year.
There have been some price reductions from Samsung in Q2 over Q1, which is already being reflected in the current sale prices. The major high runners from 2017 (PM863a, SM863) and Q1 in particular have been announced EOL and hence the supply has been quite short. Samsung has been indicating a delivery time of about 6-8 weeks on PM863a and SM863a and has been totally inflexible with the prices. The replacements families, PM883 and SM883, are still at sampling stages and would take a while to go into major production probably in Q3 or Q4. We see deliveries taking 10+ weeks with some major delays coming from Samsung to the distributors. On PCIe SSDs, the demand stays very specific and focused.
Nvidia GeForce GTX1070 TI and GTX1080 TI are still in high demand. This means that it’s nearly impossible to buy a graphic card even at manufacturers’ suggested retail price, due to cryptocurrency mining and the unprecedented growth of PC gaming. Although Nvidia doesn’t like to see their gaming cards being used on mining they are still capitalizing from cryptocurrency mining demand. They have even introduced mining cards specifically for crypto mining – models P106 and P104 – and they released the P102 as the substitute for GTX 1080Ti gaming cards. Chipsets are allocated to their AICs through bidding and currently Zotac is the largest consumer for the P102 model, whereby Asus carries only P106 and P104 due to the chipset’s poor pricing. It is unclear whether Nvidia wants to boost the price for the P102 model, however, they increased the price for the P104 and P106 chipsets by $50. Vendors are foreseeing shortages with mining cards model P106 and P104, and gaming cards model GTX1080 TI.
A fire that broke out at the LG Display Paju plant on April 4th in South Korea that accounts for 68% of LGD production, has affected the supply of LCD and OLED panels, especially for OEMs who build TV and mobile products. All facilities were shut down for 14 hours while P7, P8, and P9 production gradually restarted. The P9, which are mainly produced for Apple (iPhone, iPad), took about 4 days to 100% fully restart due to its high standards required. Overall supply for OLED has already been unstable, and the hiccup in production caused more critical shortages ahead of peak season for TV demand of May-June. With this incident, major TV makers will probably pull in orders from LGD to keep some buffer stock. Overall price increases are to be expected but the impact on repair customers should not be significant. Demand for notebook panels are on the soft side, however PC makers foresee the demand to be picking up by Q3.
The second quarter was off to a fast start with 16GB/32GB/64GB RDIMM memory module pricing increasing by 4-5%. Rumors of direct price increases have been causing flurries of spot market activity on 32GB/64GB RDIMMS. Samsung has been more consistent in supplying end users in recent weeks and there is less supply to go around in the channel distributor space, leaving many hesitant to sell product. This is also true with Kingston, as product has been difficult to find in the open market. Price increases are still speculated to continue through Q4 of this year.
With 2666mhz speed modules gaining more popularity due to Intel Skylake CPUs, Samsung has removed its 2% higher premium, making pricing equal to the 2400mhz speed modules. Again, higher capacities like the 64GB 2400mhz and 2666mhz speeds are difficult to come by in the current market with only small pockets of availability. Stock is very limited and lead times are currently ranging from 6-8 weeks from manufacturers. Fairly new to the open market are 128GB modules that have been nearing more mainstream adoption with many players testing the market on pricing. We’re expecting to see activity start to pick up on these modules over the course of 2018.