In brief: The Coronavirus outbreak is affecting a number of industries, including the tech world, but a new report claims one area that won’t be impacted is memory supplies.
There have been over 20,000 cases of the virus, which has caused 427 deaths to date. It’s resulted in Huawei canceling its developer conference, tech giants such as Facebook and Razer restricting workers from traveling to China, and an Apple analyst slashing an iPhone shipment forecast by 10 percent. We’ve also seen the Chinese government close Foxconn and Samsung factories, while Tesla temporarily closed down its Shanghai factory.
According to a DRAMeXchange report, DRAM production won’t be affected by the Coronavirus, mostly because the manufacturing companies aren’t located near Wuhan, the source of the outbreak.
Only one Chinese DRAM maker is located anywhere near Wuhan: ChanXin Memory Technologies, whose plant is 236 miles away. The outbreak has not disrupted the factory, and its expansion plans will not be affected by any transportation restrictions imposed by the Chinese government as it holds a special license.
Out of the three major suppliers—Micron, Samsung and SK Hynix—only SK Hynix's production base is located inside China, and, as it’s 435 miles away from Wuhan, hasn't been impacted.
"Also, during the Chinese New Year, the shifts of most fab employees have already been scheduled, so the production line remains operational. Overall, there is currently no substantial impact on DRAM production, but it is still imperative to monitor whether the potential spreading of the virus can affect China’s logistics and transportation system, subsequently causing a nationwide material shortage," writes DRAMeXchange.
When it comes to NAND, both China's Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. and Wuhan Xinxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co have plants inside Wuhan and have announced that non-frontline personnel can work from home. But with the companies’ output making up less than 1 percent of the global NAND supply, any disruption should have a minimal effect on the market.
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