SK hynix may increase DRAM production as demand increases

SK Hynix
(Image credit: SK Hynix)

SK hynix may increase its production of DRAM chips in response to increased demand according to Korea JoongAng Daily. After demand for consumer electronics plummeted in 2022 due to worsening economic conditions, the South Korean corporation decided to cut production for DRAM and NAND flash in 2023. However, as demand returns, SK hynix may decide to reverse its production decreases.

DRAM spot prices are significantly up from their low point in 2023 according to DRAMeXchange, which tracks this data daily. Using the Wayback Machine, we've compiled the average session price history of 2x8GB kits of DDR4 since January 2023, selecting the latest recorded dates that were available in the archive.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
DRAM Price History
Row 0 - Cell 0 Average Session Price
January 31, 2023$3.935
February 27, 2023$3.575
March 30, 2023$3.265
April 26, 2023$3.235
May 31, 2023$3.088
June 28, 2023$3.010
July 20, 2023$2.99
August 31, 2023$2.909
September 29, 2023$2.934
October 31, 2023$3.094
November 30, 2023$3.233
December 31, 2023$3.361
January 9, 2024$3.426

At the time of writing, DRAM is nearly as expensive as it was in February of 2023, and it's been going up since it bottomed out in August. This mirrors the price history of NAND, which also reached its lowest spot prices in the middle of 2023 but recovered in the second half of the year. However, NAND dramatically went down in price and has seen a similarly large boost in price as its recovery continues.

SK hynix offers many DRAM products other than DDR4, and the most likely ones to get a boost in production are HBM and DDR5 due to the AI boom. HBM2 and HBM3 memory are used for many highly-demanded GPUs for use in AI servers and datacenters, which are largely based on AMD, Intel, and ARM CPUs that use DDR5. SK hynix noted that demand for memory had increased last year, largely on the back of AI.

For consumers, an increase in supply is generally a good thing. It's unlikely that more supply will mean lower prices any time soon; after all, supply outweighing demand is what caused SK hynix and other memory manufacturers to run into hard times in 2022 and 2023. Rather, RAM prices will likely gradually increase and not significantly impact consumer electronics. Of course, prices also hinge on demand, which is at the whim of the market.

SK hynix could also be considering a similar production increase for NAND flash chips in the second half of the year. Today, NAND is about as expensive as it was in the middle of 2022 and prices continue to climb. More supply might prevent prices for SSDs from returning to their peak in 2021, but it's hard to say as demand could also go up or down over the course of 2024.

Matthew Connatser

Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.

  • evdjj3j
  • peachpuff
    evdjj3j said:
    Tomorrow they will cut production...