Global chip industry has gone from shortage to slump, but things will improve: Micron chief

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This was coupled with the supply crunch caused by Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies rushing to build its inventory to survive US sanctions.

The global shortage brought car production to a standstill and delayed consumer electronics product launches. Broadband providers also faced months-long delays for Internet routers.

The industry started seeing signs of easing in in the middle of this year and now faces low demand amid a high supply.

LONG-TERM OUTLOOK

The ongoing imbalance between demand and supply is only in the near-term, said Mr Mehrotra.

“From a long-term perspective, the key enablers for the trends today are AI, connectivity, smart cities, smart homes, and of course, autonomous – all of these require more and more data insights, so long-term trends are intact,” he said.

He noted that the industry goes through cycles of demand.

“What’s important is that the demand for memory and storage continues to increase across cycles,” he said, adding that Micron is “well-positioned” to emerge stronger on the other side of the downturn.

Micron’s Singapore office, which has about 10,000 employees, is the centre of the firm’s manufacturing for NAND Flash, a type of storage technology found in devices like memory cards, USB flash drives and smartphones, Mr Mehrotra noted.

Singapore continues to be a strong contributor to the opportunities ahead for his firm, he added.

“As the inventories at our customers and … suppliers get restored toward the normal levels, then the industry trajectory of demand growth as well as healthier profitability will resume,” he said.

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