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Memory IC sales poised to hit record in 2022, says IC Insights

Fueled by economic recovery and the transition to a digital economy, memory IC sales are forecast to top US$180 billion in 2022, exceeding the previous record high set in 2018, according to IC Insights.

After a steep drop in 2019, sales of memory ICs rebounded 15% during COVID-plagued 2020, IC Insights said. Following up on that increase, stronger DRAM pricing is expected to lift total memory revenue 23% this year to US$155.2 billion.

The average selling price (ASP) for DRAM rose 8% sequentially in the first quarter of 2021, and nearly all of the leading memory suppliers stated in their most recent quarterly financial presentations that they expected stronger demand in the second quarter, IC Insights indicated.

The memory upturn is forecast to continue into 2022 when total memory sales are expected to rise 16% to US$180.4 billion, which would break the previous all-time high of US$163.3 billion set in 2018 at the peak of the previous memory cycle, IC Insights noted.

The memory market is forecast to reach its next cyclical peak in 2023, when revenue grows to nearly US$220.0 billion - smashing through the US$200.0 billion sales level for the first time - before a cooling period returns in 2024, according to IC Insights.

From 2020 through 2025, IC Insights forecast the total memory market will grow by a CAGR of 10.6%.

DRAM is expected to account for 56% of the memory market in 2021, with flash memory accounting for 43% share, IC Insights said. DRAM is also forecast to represent the bulk of memory unit shipments this year. Though there remains a viable market for other memory products (EEPROM, EPROM, ROM, SRAM, etc.), it is unlikely these segments will account for much more marketshare than they currently do.