If 2007 was the year when DDR2 prices hit rock bottom, 2008 looks like it will be the year when DDR3 becomes affordable.
After a year where DDR2 memory prices hit absolute rock bottom (with 2GB DDR2 kits now available on the market for just over £30
), it looks like they might actually be on their way up again.
DRAMeXchange, a Taiwanese market research company that monitors the DRAM industry, has data that shows the price of DDR2 memory is slowly increasing
At the start of last year 512Mbit DRAM chips cost around US$6 a pop, but by the end of the year, the same chips would only cost memory manufacturers around US$0.94 each. Just this week, these DRAMs have now increased to between US$1.00 and US$1.20 a chip, depending on the type of memory chip the memory manufacturers are looking to buy.
Meanwhile, the price of 1Gbit DRAM chips has also increased to over US$2 each, with current prices around the US$2.10 to $2.40 mark. This means that it’ll cost memory manufacturers between US$16.80 and US$19.20 to acquire enough DRAMs to build a 1GB module.
At the other end of the market, DDR3 has had little penetration thus far because it has been far too expensive for it to make sense in the DIY market. However, DigiTimes
reports that Intel, in conjunction with the DRAM manufacturers, is aggressively pushing to increase the volume shipments for DDR3 in an effort to drive the prices down to within 10 percent of the price of equivalent DDR2 modules in the second half of this year.
The report claims that Intel is expected to subsidise some PC manufacturers if they migrate to DDR3-based Intel platforms, as it will eventually help to migrate the entire industry over to DDR3. Additionally, DigiTimes’ sources reckon that around 30 percent of new PCs will be DDR3-based in the fourth quarter of this year.
With the increased DDR2 DRAM chip prices, it’ll be interesting to see how prices change over the next few weeks and, at the same time, we’ll have to wait and see whether or not DDR3 makes its push for the mainstream later in the year.
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