Adata CEO Claims RAM Prices To Climb Early Next Year

Subject: Memory | December 23, 2011 - 04:10 PM |
Tagged: supply, ram, price increase, nand, dram market, adata

Computer enthusiasts and OEMs alike have been living the dream of extremely cheap RAM modules; however, Adata CEO Simon Chen believes that the dream may be close to ending. In 2012, the DRAM manufacturers will start to cut production such that they are reducing supply and thus can charge more than they currently can (they have been producing DRAM consistently over the past couple years such that there has been more than enough supply and thus a lower cost). After the holiday season, PC OEMs will start to replenish their inventories and when they do, they will be increasing inventories to a months supply instead of a two week supply.

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Chen notes that the four major manufacturers of DRAM chips including Elpida Memory, Hynix Semiconductor, Micron Technology, and Powerchip Technology have suffered from selling the chips at such reduced prices for so long. While DRAM chips produced on older manufacturing processes may still be sold below the cost of production, newer DRAM manufactured on the 30nm process "will rebound from the current bottom level to a level above cash-flow production cost."

In addition to the reduced production and newer process, the demand for DRAM in general is expected to decrease due to the rising popularity of mobile computers, Chen notes. Further, the decrease in desktop DRAM demand is balanced out by increased demand for server memory from data centers purchasing additional RAM direct from the manufacturers as the server OEMs charge a hefty premium for RAM. Due to the shake up in the industry, "many makers of DRAM modules have shifted business operation to other areas" like ruggedized memory and to producing NAND flash chips for SSDs.

Admittedly, the memory makers are walking a fine line between spinning down production and being accused of price fixing; however, the ride has been a good one for consumers for a while now and the manufacturers are likely getting tired of the razor thing profit margins. Chen's analysis of the situation may be correct in light of that fact, the new process technology allowing for better yields combined with generally lower production while the big OEMs will be buying up more RAM for their own inventories may well spell the end of being able to impulse buy tons of DDR3 RAM! What are your thoughts on both Chen's analysis of the price increase and the industry itself- do you think prices are likely to go up next year?

Source: Digitimes
December 23, 2011 | 04:30 PM - Posted by Nilbog

I'm going to start stocking up on RAM. 32GB doesn't seem so much like over kill anymore....

December 23, 2011 | 10:28 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

indeed, it seems like 16gb is the new standard 4gb and 32+ isnt even that outrageous!

December 23, 2011 | 10:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous Coward (not verified)

Tell you what, memory manufacturers. You bring on DDR4, and we can talk better margins, okey dokey? I know prices are unrealistically low, and you're hurting, but you're being assholes by holding back progress so you can milk out factories that have been tooled several years ago. You're just as scummy as the panel manufacturers that keep us in the 1080p stone age because they can also sell shit in a factory tooled 5 years ago.

December 24, 2011 | 11:50 AM - Posted by JSL

For you sir!

I remember when there were rumors long long ago about it being implemented for the now released 2011 socket intel proc's. Ah, the ancient rumor mill.. I miss those days.

December 23, 2011 | 10:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Also, I forgot to mention that executives are starting to go to prison for price fixing, in similar industries.
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2132656/disk-price-fixing-execu...

Careful what you do, memory manufacturers. Because you decision makers might personally go to the pokey, yaknowwhatimean?

P.S. bring out DDR4, you dinosaurs

December 24, 2011 | 08:03 PM - Posted by Angry

2012 is gonna suck.....Well maybe.
Time to stock up myself.

December 24, 2011 | 10:23 PM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

Well, considering GPUs are high, CPUs are high, mobos are meh, and hard drives are high, I don't have any incentive to buy from them anyway. If Summer comes around and I can't put 32 gigs in my new build for <$350, I may decide I can wait for FeTRAM.

There isn't going to be a technology market that deliberately reduces performance generation after generation. 'Ultrabooks'? Really? My 11 inch netbook has a core i7 and 8 gigs of RAM + a GPU with 2 gigs of RAM on it. I walk in a room with that thing, hijack a 1080P television, max the graphics in a game, and people start wondering how they're going to get one of 'em. :D

April 24, 2012 | 04:36 AM - Posted by reeltape (not verified)

Remember that time when you hijacked 2 tvs with one net book!? That was awesome...

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