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IC distributors eyeing strong memory device demand in 2021

Taiwan-based IC distributors are poised to see their revenues continue to grow in 2021 on robust demand for IC parts, notably memory devices, in the coming year, according to industry sources.

Major IC distributors, including WPG Holdings, WT Microelectronics, Supreme Electronics, and Edom Technology, are all set to post record-high sales in 2020 thanks to strong demand for logic ICs from the device end-market supporting remote work and study, said the sources.

The firms are eyeing demand for DRAM and NAND flash memory chips, particularly from the 5G phone and server sectors in 2021, said the sources.

The sources said that global 5G phone shipments are expected to more than double to 400-500 million units in 2021, from about 200 million in 2020, driving up demand for memory parts.

They also added that Samsung Electronics has mapped out plans to ramp up the sale of memory products by 10-15% in 2021, as the firm believes memory chip demand from the 5G infrastructure, 5G handset, server, and automotive electronics sector will expand significantly in the coming year.

They noted that there are no signs showing memory chip demand from Chinese handset brands to weaken in first-quarter 2021 and that the direct supply of memory parts for the current iPhone 12 lineup remains relatively stable.

Demand for DRAM chips for server applications is expected to stage a rebound in the first quarter of 2021, given Micron Technology has revised upward its sales forecast for the quarter, said the sources.