DRAM Exchange Calls for DRAM Shortage, Puts Lump of Coal in Your Stocking, Makes DDR3 Predictions

Just in time for the holiday, DRAM Exchange called a DRAM shortage today. Citing accelerating PC shipments, a trend since August, the DRAM Exchange has noted climbing prices for DDR2 and DDR3 DIMMs over the past several months. The following graphs from the DRAM Exchange tell the story of the pricing:

The reason behind the rising DRAM chip and module pricing was predictable by anyone who has followed the semiconductor industry for a decade or two. The last few years have been rocky for semiconductor memory vendors and whenever times are tough, these vendors know what to do to drive prices up: reduce capital expenditures, stop building memory fabs, and stop making so many memory chips. And that’s exactly what’s happened. It helps that in tight economic times, it’s relatively easy to forego the big capital expenditures needed to build new memory fabs or refit older fabs with new chip-making equipment.

DRAM Exchange provided a little fire to burn that coal in your stocking with the following heat-up-the-market predictions:

  1. Capital expenditures for DRAM vendors will increase 80% year over year to US$7.85B from US$4.30B in 2009
  2. DRAM aggregate demand will be slightly below aggregate supply in Q1 2010
  3. DRAM pricing will fall appropriately 10% to 20% quarter over quarter in Q1 2010

DRAM Exchange also made the following predictions for DDR3 DRAM in the coming year:

  1. DDR3 DRAM goes mainstream in Q1 2010
  2. DDR3 DRAM market share will account for 60% and will likely reach 80% of commodity DRAM by 2H 2010
  3. DDR3 DRAM prices will decline less than DDR2 DRAM prices given the strong platform migration momentum

Like Dickens’ ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future in “A Christmas Carol,” (go see the new movie!), these predictions from DRAM Exchange are merely shadows. Reality may or may not prove the predictions correct. Make your own decisions. TG Daily picked up DRAM Exchange’s predictions of a DRAM shortage for 2010 and one reader commented: “Prfft, they said the same thing last year.”

Thursday, December 24th, 2009 at 18:14
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