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Specialty DRAM in Tight Supply, Prices Likely to Climb

By - Source: Hynix | B 18 comments

It is a small breather for the DRAM industry.

Strong demand for consumer electronics such as TVs, smartphones, and tablets are squeezing 512 Mb DDR and 1 Gb DDR2 memory chips into tight supply. Production cutbacks that were encouraged by oversupply in recent quarters add to a scenario in which memory prices could be seeing an upward spike.

According to Digitimes, DRAM manufacturers were able to gradually compensate a decline in memory demand in the PC sector with increasing demand from consumer electronics.

The publication's sources stated that 512Mb DDR parts primarily used for TVs, set-top box and networking applications will especially be in short supply and that the shortage is likely to "persist through March," when production will have caught up with the market.

The 1 Gb DDR2 shortage is apparently related to manufacturing transitions as production is shifting and some major suppliers are no longer manufacturing this memory type. According to Digitimes, Hynix Semiconductor is the world's largest supplier of specialty DRAM memory.

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    fuxxnuts , February 16, 2012 2:37 AM
    ***News Flash***

    This just in: DRAM manufacturers say that the price hike was the fault of one British employee
  • 16 Hide
    internetlad , February 16, 2012 2:11 AM
    call 2005, it's got serious troubles ahead!
  • 11 Hide
    pensivevulcan , February 16, 2012 2:13 AM
    So why don't they just transition to newer more power-efficient DDR3 and maybe just slightly augment their prices to compensate? Worthy trade-off no?
    Using DDR in 2012 seems a tadd absurd to me, unless I am missing something...
Other Comments
  • 16 Hide
    internetlad , February 16, 2012 2:11 AM
    call 2005, it's got serious troubles ahead!
  • 11 Hide
    pensivevulcan , February 16, 2012 2:13 AM
    So why don't they just transition to newer more power-efficient DDR3 and maybe just slightly augment their prices to compensate? Worthy trade-off no?
    Using DDR in 2012 seems a tadd absurd to me, unless I am missing something...
  • 3 Hide
    balister , February 16, 2012 2:19 AM
    pensivevulcanSo why don't they just transition to newer more power-efficient DDR3 and maybe just slightly augment their prices to compensate? Worthy trade-off no?Using DDR in 2012 seems a tadd absurd to me, unless I am missing something...


    You are missing something. While consumers try to keep up, businesses and organizations like to use known trusted items before they move forward. As such, a lot of hardware for an organization typically lags behind what consumers are using because it known to be reliable where as newer hardware has not had that burn in time. Thus, older hardware is preferable to newer because it's been thoroughly tested.
  • 6 Hide
    theuniquegamer , February 16, 2012 2:22 AM
    After HDD crisis now its time for DRAM module The budget pc users are always affected by all of this
  • 17 Hide
    fuxxnuts , February 16, 2012 2:37 AM
    ***News Flash***

    This just in: DRAM manufacturers say that the price hike was the fault of one British employee
  • 4 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , February 16, 2012 2:43 AM
    pensivevulcanSo why don't they just transition to newer more power-efficient DDR3 and maybe just slightly augment their prices to compensate? Worthy trade-off no?Using DDR in 2012 seems a tadd absurd to me, unless I am missing something...

    there's absolutely no need for such. it's not like you are going to play crisys on a set top box or that you need 16gb ddr3 on your fridge control panel.
    DDR memory is not just used in "pc's". It's used in thousands of appliances. from dvd players to vending machines to small lcd's etc. it's overkill to use DDR3.
  • 1 Hide
    alyoshka , February 16, 2012 2:46 AM
    Well, everything is connected... so I guess the prices of all the electronic goods was bound to come up, after all, companies manufacturing copper wires need HDDs too.... so as the cost of maintaining the business goes up, the cost of the end product is going to rise.
  • 6 Hide
    azathoth , February 16, 2012 2:48 AM
    Why do I have a feeling that DDR3 will join the price hike for no apparent reason?
  • 4 Hide
    fb39ca4 , February 16, 2012 2:49 AM
    This is NOT DDR3, system builders should have nothing to be concerned about.
  • 8 Hide
    CaedenV , February 16, 2012 3:05 AM
    1GB of DDR3 is $8, while 1GB of DDR2 is $14. I realize that it is different when talking about electronics instead of PC hardware, but still, we are talking nearly half the price for the same amount of hardware, plus lower wattage, smaller chip size, and a decent speed increase. The real reason manufacturers don't move up (I mean really, DDR3 was released in 2007, that is a 5 year burn in period which is longer than most electronics products are kept, plus the tech is not exactly new moving from DDR1-2-3 is basically the same hardware with more parallelism) is because they don't want to pay someone to design new controllers and support chips for newer hardware. They will bleed the DDR2 tech dry until someone strikes a killer deal with a manufacturer that sets them with ddr3 at a flat price for x number of years. And then they will be stuck on that until DDR5-6 comes out... such is life in the industrial world.
  • 2 Hide
    cookoy , February 16, 2012 4:54 AM
    unless the increase is substantial, manufacturers would likely shoulder the cost rise in the very competitive consumer electronics market
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 16, 2012 8:59 AM
    Mb = megabit, MB = megabyte
  • 2 Hide
    Lutfij , February 16, 2012 11:54 AM
    internetladcall 2005, it's got serious troubles ahead!

    best comment i've read so far in this pat week!
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , February 16, 2012 4:50 PM
    balisterYou are missing something. While consumers try to keep up, businesses and organizations like to use known trusted items before they move forward. As such, a lot of hardware for an organization typically lags behind what consumers are using because it known to be reliable where as newer hardware has not had that burn in time. Thus, older hardware is preferable to newer because it's been thoroughly tested.


    DDR3 is pretty old now, I'd say it's tried and true enough for more general use.

    __-_-_-__there's absolutely no need for such. it's not like you are going to play crisys on a set top box or that you need 16gb ddr3 on your fridge control panel.DDR memory is not just used in "pc's". It's used in thousands of appliances. from dvd players to vending machines to small lcd's etc. it's overkill to use DDR3.


    The faster ARM processors aren't getting enough memory bandwidth with DDR and DDR2 so a move to DDR3 is justifiable. There's also mobile XDR which is even better, but then prices might sky-rocket by using Rambus technology. Either way, we would get better performance for lower costs and lower power usage by using DDR3. Higher capacities may also be possible, but I think that the capacity is less important than the other factors unless it allows the usage of fewer chips, improving upon the other factors even more.

    Some (many) other applications of DDR memory may be overkill with DDR3, but at the least it would improve power usage so it's pretty much always justifiable unless DDR is cheaper for the job. It doesn't need to be used in higher capacities to be better, 16GB for a fridge isn't a good argument against it. Just because it's DDR3, it has to be 16GB? There are 128MB, maybe even smaller DDR3 chips. 256MB are the common chip density right now.
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 16, 2012 8:11 PM
    pensivevulcanSo why don't they just transition to newer more power-efficient DDR3 and maybe just slightly augment their prices to compensate? Worthy trade-off no?Using DDR in 2012 seems a tadd absurd to me, unless I am missing something...


    Testing new products takes time, and lots of money. The last thing Samsung wants is manufacturing hundreds of thousands of faulty TVs. Not only it would be a PR disaster and expensive refund program, it would also require a redesign of the TVs, which is even more expensive.
  • -2 Hide
    Noworldorder , February 16, 2012 9:08 PM
    Jay Carney says Obama will be releasing a statement that he saw this coming 3 years ago,
    and that it was Bush's fault 2 years ago.
  • 1 Hide
    shrapnel_indie , February 17, 2012 8:13 AM
    Should have seen this coming a mile away.

    "OOPS!!!! we're producing too many and it's hurting our big huge bonuses and the profits. Better cut WAAAAAAAAAY! back!. Heheheheh. That will lead to a shortage and we can make up lost profits and save our bonuses because we can than demand higher prices."

    Laws of supply and demand, as based on control of supply. If you can artificially control supply, you can control price, and demand way more, without any other losses due to damages from natural disasters, riots, etc.
  • 0 Hide
    thrasher32 , February 20, 2012 8:20 PM
    NoworldorderJay Carney says Obama will be releasing a statement that he saw this coming 3 years ago,and that it was Bush's fault 2 years ago.


    How's the weather under that bridge, Troll?