November 2019

The Greensheet


Specific IC MOSFET shortages worsen through Q4

Since Q3, Infineon IR and TDA series delivery lead times have been stretching to 26-39 weeks for mainly low-voltage MOSFETs — generally 200V and below. The supply issue is due to the high failure rates from using the packaging with specific 300mm wafers.

As reported in October, IR355x series were under tight allocation, and we are seeing the supply issue getting worse. Many customer orders have been pushed out with uncertain delivery dates, thereby heating up the market and increasing activity of the affected series. It’s estimated the lead time issue won’t be resolved until Q1 2020. On the other hand, high voltage MOSFETs, such as the P7 series are not affected, and lead times remain at around 16 weeks.

The overall supply of NEXPERIA products is stable with current delivery lead times at 4-8 weeks for most package groups. However, there’s an uptrend reported of POWER MOSFET lead times increasing to over 20 weeks — especially for package LFPAK56 (SOT669/SOT1205) and LFPAK33 (SOT-1210).

Qualcomm Strengthens RF Business by Acquiring RF360

Qualcomm has completed the acquisition of the remaining interest in RF360 Holding Singapore Pte Ltd, a joint venture with TDK. The joint venture has produced RF front-end (RFFE) filters, which enable Qualcomm to deliver complete 4G/5G RFFE solutions. With this acquisition, Qualcomm can provide customers a complete end-to-end solution/system from modem to antenna, which positions their RFFE solutions are very well for future smartphone designs.

Sony CMOS sensor dominance is caught up in shortages for certain series

Sony’s position as the primary supplier of CMOS sensors throughout the surveillance and camera industries is running up against supply issues, which have been a recurring problem for the past few months as demand surges across Asia. This has resulted in the lead times for IMX317, IMX326, IMX290, IMX274 to further extend to 12-24 weeks and be subject to allocation status. The supply issue is expected to ease next year.  The issues have been felt more severely in the Asia market where the demand for surveillance technologies is greater.

Typhoon in Japan causes damage to several semiconductor plants

Typhoon Hagaibis, one the strongest storms to hit the Kanto region of Japan, has resulted in Taiyo Yuden’s Fukushima factory to cease operation. The factory was flooded during the typhoon and suffered severe damage to plant facilities and production equipment. According to the company, the impact of flooding is significant.  It is estimated that the factory will resume production in March 2020. The affected products are industrial application wire wound inductors starting with MExxx and ESTxxx, and notably on case size 1206, 2012, 2522. There have been spot supply issues since the typhoon hit, and customers intend to pull in all their backlog to increase safety stock.

One factory of HIROSE, Koriyama Hirose Electric Co., in Japan was also affected by Typhoon Hagibis. It is reported that the main products affected were the Multi-Pin Connectors. There is a slight delay in the current lead time but no major impact for the time being as parts still can be produced in the company’s other two non-affected factories.

Many companies in Koriyama Central Industrial Park in Fukushima were submerged during the typhoon. There is speculation that there will be issues moving forward among products made in Japan — including many passive components, such as aluminum capacitors and large case size MLCCs, which have already been considerably tight supply over the past two quarters.


Cascade Lake supply is tight

As the transition to Cascade Lake gains steam, with many customers approaching a 50-50 mix, supply in the market is tight.  While Skylake constraints skewed toward XCC models, the Cascade Lake tightness is centered on 42XX and 62XX models.  A combination of strong demand in the DCG segment for Intel and the scramble to pull in parts for the Chinese market that faces blacklisting and trade war uncertainty have driven the constraints in server processors since July.  Whether this dynamic will continue is a bit of a mystery, but it is unlikely that relief will come before the end of the calendar year.

Despite demand trailing off, Skylake Xeons are still trading at high premiums on the XCC models.  A growing number of customers and suppliers are moving off Skylake altogether, but whatever supply has been coming available on certain models has been moving quickly.

8TH generation desktop CPU pricing soars as supply outlook deteriorates

Comparatively, market activity on 9th generation Coffee Lake Refresh models has been subdued.  Supply constraints are widely reported and the i3-9100 is trading at a steep premium. Overall the volumes and order velocity are much less than 8th generation still.

Pricing for the i5-8500, the highest running model for many manufacturers, has reached $200 for the first time since February.  The last time we saw markets move to this degree pricing ran north of $230.  Suppliers are reporting very little by way of incoming stock on both the i5-8500 and i7 8700, indicating that this latest disturbance is still on the upswing.  Suppliers that do have stock have expressed reluctance to quote full quantities in anticipation of worsening conditions.  To be seeing shortages on the same parts that first began acting up in July of 2018 is nothing short of mind blowing.

Mobile supply improving but long-term concerns linger

We’ve been seeing pockets of supply for Kaby Lake Refresh and Whiskey Lake models in recent weeks. Feedback from customers is that the overall supply outlook has improved marginally in the short term.  A few of our sources have posited that the supply improvement could be attributed to more production capacity allocated away from desktop to mobile.  In the past week or so, we’ve heard of some decommits happening.  Longer term, the picture is bleaker with the expectation that supply will worsen in the weeks ahead.

10th generation mobile supply for both Ice Lake and Comet Lake are constrained and not expected to recover any time soon.  Availabilities on the i5-10210U are moving very fast. Premiums in the open market have been very steep.

Small core count processor supply overall is healthy after having been so acutely problematic earlier this year.  The newly-launched Gemini Lake Refresh are starting to come available in the market, but activity has been relatively muted.  The N4120 has been called out as a part to focus on given the fact that it is more widely used.


The market transition from 2666 to 2933 RDIMMs has arrived

October brought us the transition from 2666 to 2933 RDIMMs, which was much faster than our previous Q1 2020 prediction.  The 128GB was the first of the 2933 speeds to experience major lead time increases, and the 64GB quickly followed suit.  Both the 16GB and the 32GB have experienced stretched out lead times, but not as severely.  With Samsung not releasing an official statement regarding the matter, we are left speculating a variety of causes for the sudden, drastic increase in demand.  Our main theory is the supply issues are a trickle-down effect from the ongoing CPU shortage.  With Skylake Xeon CPUs running so short, more customers have pivoted to the Cascade Lake series, which is able to support the RDIMM 2933 speed.  Our sources have indicated the yield rate may be lower than anticipated, which could be another potential cause for the supply constraints on the 2933 speeds.

DIMM market pricing still declining

Except for the 2933 speed, DIMM pricing will continue to dip by around 5 10% in November.  With decreased demand and healthy supply of 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB DIMMs, we expect this trend to continue – especially as customers continue to turn their eyes toward the 2933 and the eventual 3200 series.


RTX 2080 Ti GPU supply short

RTX 2080 Ti supply has been tightening up recently.  Rumors circulated that distributors were allocating stock of RTX 2080 Ti to prepare for China’s shopping festival on Nov. 11.  Other sources are indicating that NVIDIA is limiting deliveries of the chipset in November, which would result in a shortage that may last until mid-December.

There has also been a recent trend in the deep learning industry using a lot of RTX 2080 Ti cards.  NVIDIA reportedly prefers the QUADRO and TESLA graphic cards for deep learning applications, as their added demand reduces supply for gaming consumption.  NVIDIA’s next generation QUADRO cards are expected to be coming out in January and some of their focus will be in realigning the demand into the new cards.

SSD market is in critical state

The SSD shortage situation continues to go downhill as prices climb and supply diminishes.  Intel has been the most affected, with severe allocation through most of their product lines, but Samsung and Micron are close behind.

Intel was the first manufacturer to almost completely sell out from franchised distributors.  The most sought-after densities are 240GB, 480GB and 960GB, but the shortage has also spread across almost all capacities.  Intel pricing has spiked from 20-40% in the market, and could increase further, as vendors are not seeing any supply recovery coming in a near future.

Now Micron SSD inquiries and transactions are increasing, but stock support is limited.  Some Micron distributors have now stopped quoting lead time offers due to unstable forecasts.  Samsung’s price increase is confirmed around 10-20% and, just like Intel, the most affected capacities are 240 and 480G.

While the SSD shortages have generally been attributed to the shortage of NAND flash, rumors indicate Intel may intend to solve this issue by acquiring Nanya and Hynix NAND for their SSD.  Current projections indicate the shortage will last into Q1 of 2020, and any formidable recovery of supply may be well after January.

HDD market demand is not able to digest the inventory fast enough

Moving toward mid-Q4, supply for Seagate Enterprise Capacity series is decreasing, especially for small capacities of 4TB and below. Seagate has been pushing the market to shift to the new EXOS series by Q1 2020, resulting in legacy model demand increasing.

In addition to supply the China server demand, Seagate has shifted part of its Thailand production lines for enterprise HDDs to the Wuxi factory in China, which was used to produce majority of desktop and video surveillance HDDs.


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