Market watcher warns of continuing DRAM price premium

July 3, 2018 | 10:53

Tags: #avril-wu #cryptocurrency #cryptocurrency-mining #dram #financial #market-report #memory #memory-market #pricing #video-memory #video-ram #vram

Companies: #dramexchange #sk-hynix

Those hoping for relief from the current memory pricing spike are going to be disappointed, market watcher DRAMeXchange claims, with a prediction pointing to a 1-2 percent rise in average selling price (ASP) for common memory types.

That memory is expensive will not be news to anyone who has priced up a rig in recent months: The switch to DDR4 from DDR3 brought with it a split in manufacturing capacity, and growing demand for memory from the smartphone and tablet markets has further constrained supply. With manufacturers still unable to meet demand - and companies like SK Hynix warning that won't be changing any time soon - there's little room for relief, which is echoed in the latest market report from DRAMeXchange.

'As suppliers migrate to 1X or 1Y nm process one after another, the DRAM bit output increased by 3.2 percent in 2Q18 QoQ [quarter on quarter],' senior research director Avril Wu claimed in one of the few positives in the company's latest market report, 'although some issues remain regarding the yield rate and product quality.'

The same report suggests that while output will continue to grow by a further 4.8 percent in the third quarter of the year, it will fail to meet demand in what is the memory market's peak season. The result: Another price increase of around 1-2 percent in server, mainstream, and mobile memory module cost - a figure which will have an outsize impact in the transition from wholesale chip to retail module pricing.

The one bright spot for system builders: The suggestion that the cost of video RAM (VRAM) may be due for a decline in the second half of the year, thanks to a crash in the cryptocurrency markets which has made purchasing high-end memory-rich graphics cards for mining operations unprofitable in, at least, the short term.

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