Monday, April 17th 2017

Amidst Production Woes, Pricing of DDR4 DRAM to Climb 12.5% on 2Q17 - Trendforce

Continuing the trend of previous reports, DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, reports the general price increase in the PC DRAM market is growing larger than anticipated as the already tight supply situation is compounded by quality problems with products made on the leading-edge processes. Based on a preliminary survey of completed contracts for the second quarter, DRAMeXchange estimates that the average contract price of 4GB DDR4 modules will go up by about 12.5% compared with the first quarter, from US$24 to around US$27.

"PC-OEMs that have been negotiating their second-quarter memory contracts initially expected the market supply to expand because Samsung and Micron have begun to produce on the 18 nm and the 17 nm processes, respectively," said Avril Wu, research director of DRAMeXchange. "However, both Samsung and Micron have encountered setbacks related to sampling and yield, so the supply situation remains tight going into the second quarter and PC DRAM prices will continue to rise through this three-month period."
There is no relief to the short supply problem as Samsung and Micron encounter roadblocks in their respective migrations to under-20 nm production. Samsung has started to mass produce 18 nm PC DRAM products since the middle of 1Q17. Transitioning to a higher level of manufacturing technology tends to create difficult design challenges, and Samsung has found that some of its memory modules are having compatibility issues with certain notebook platforms. Furthering the issue, the high defect rate from the 18 nm process has hindered the supplier's shipments. Even as Samsung attempts to resolve these manufacturing quirks, its contribution to the market supply will be severely limited.

Micron, on the other hand, has started sending its 17 nm PC DRAM products to clients for sampling since 1Q17, but the entire process is taking much longer than expected, which leads analysts to believe the company is likely to delay mass production for its 17 nm process beyond 2Q17.

Among the big three suppliers, SK Hynix is the only one not transitioning to a more advanced manufacturing technology for its PC DRAM - and is, therefore, devoid of any snags in delivering its products, which isn't that unlikely, considering the mature production process it employs. Wu pointed out that Samsung's and Micron's predicaments reveal that design and manufacturing barriers become a lot higher when it comes to migrating to under-20 nm production. At the same time, such migration efforts result in diminishing returns in the form of shrinking bit growth.

Wu added that the DRAM market as a whole will continue to see prices climbing during the entire second quarter: "Besides the larger price hike for PC DRAM products, prices of server DRAM products for the second quarter are projected to rise by 10~15% sequentially on average. Compared with PC DRAM and server DRAM products, mobile memory products will have the smallest price increase during this three-month period, estimated at under 5% from the preceding quarter. The moderate price uptick for mobile memory products is mainly attributed to slowing shipments from China-based smartphone makers. On the other hand, prices of eMCP products are expected to go up by around 5% versus the first quarter due to the additional factor of NAND Flash shortage."

What is interesting is that these supply problems don't necessarily translate into lower margins or lower profits for the DRAM makers; if anything, their business is soaring, even amidst supply constraints and new process ramp-up woes, considering Q416's 18.2% sequential revenue increase.
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17 Comments on Amidst Production Woes, Pricing of DDR4 DRAM to Climb 12.5% on 2Q17 - Trendforce

#1
xkm1948
Meh, don't care. Already maxed out RAM when it was cheap.
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#2
TheGuruStud
It's a lie. They announced price fixing (collusion in cutting production) last year. Some govts must be on their ass.
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#4
Dj-ElectriC
Everybody knows at this point that this whole thing is a huge price fixing, that's being done way over the actual needs
Posted on Reply
#5
yotano211
Good thing that prices are increasing. I bought 32gb of laptop memory back in October and I just sold them for a nice profit last week. My main laptop has 12gb of 2400mhz memory but its good enough for me.
I have seem laptop memory increase way more than 12%, more like in the region of 20-30% increases.
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#6
NdMk2o1o
It's already twice as expensive as ddr3 was before ddr4 became mainstream, add to the fact that now that UK consumers are being shafted for hardware and getting a straight pound to dollar conversion (case in point ryzen 1600 $219/£219 as is the same for everything now, motherboards, drives ram etc ) but yea....down to supply shortages :rolleyes: funny that as it hasn't trickled down to retailers who have ddr4 in abundance :shadedshu:
Posted on Reply
#7
natr0n
We should stop buying ram completely. Eventually they will pay us to buy it.
Posted on Reply
#8
m1dg3t
TheGuruStud said:
It's a lie. They announced price fixing (collusion in cutting production) last year. Some govts must be on their ass.
theGryphon said:
Production woes, uh-huh, yep...
+1000000000000. It's all bullshit, they just want to milk everyone getting/moving to Ryzen.

natr0n said:
We should stop buying ram completely. Eventually they will pay us to buy it.
I have been adopting this strategy in regards to computing in general since about '09, but there are a thousand + people who make me look stupid and rush out to buy whatever they get fed. At least they look cool with their shiny rigs...
Posted on Reply
#9
R-T-B
I actually buy the whole "production woes" story: they probably are having some trouble, as under 20nm is hard, we all know that. But do I buy that it's costing them nearly this much, or accept the principle that it's the consumer that should pay for their mistake? No way buddy, not for a second.
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#10
oxidized
Isn't DDR5 supposed to come out next year? I read it was anticipated. I mean increasing the prices sounds a bit odd.
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#11
Prima.Vera
How much can the price increase? If they increase too much then nobody are going to buy their shits, so....
Even without the increase, the price/GB right now are overly callous ridiculously high compared with NAND, and also all time high, so how much increase can they get?!
Posted on Reply
#12
sutyi
natr0n said:
We should stop buying ram completely. Eventually they will pay us to buy it.
Doing that right now. Memory prices jacked up by manufacturers is literally the only thing currently keeping me from moving on to a new system. I'm just flat out refusing to pay 150-170USD (45.000HUF+) for a 16GB kit of semi decent memory kit.
My motherboard has been in this rig since 2011 December and at this rate it will stay for at least another year if not two...
Posted on Reply
#13
Raevenlord
News Editor
sutyi said:
Doing that right now. Memory prices jacked up by manufacturers is literally the only thing currently keeping me from moving on to a new system. I'm just flat out refusing to pay 150-170USD (45.000HUF+) for a 16GB kit of semi decent memory kit.
My motherboard has been in this rig since 2011 December and at this rate it will stay for at least another year if not two...
Likewise. Would like to add 8 GB or even buy a pair of higher-speed 8 GB sticks, but I refuse to pay double (!!) of what I paid for my 2x 4GB just to get another 8 GB. Bought them at 43€. On sale at 90€. No, thank you very much. My price memory is as good as some of them.
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#14
Nuckles56
I look at RAM prices and am so glad I built mid last year, I would have had to cut back on the SSD big time to afford the RAM
Posted on Reply
#15
64K
Prima.Vera said:
How much can the price increase? If they increase too much then nobody are going to buy their shits, so....
Even without the increase, the price/GB right now are overly callous ridiculously high compared with NAND, and also all time high, so how much increase can they get?!
Unfortunately people will have to pay the price as PC manufacturers will just pass the additional cost onto the consumer. Especially for businesses.
Posted on Reply
#16
9700 Pro
Damn that's just great.. :banghead:

Spent 30 euros back in the day at my 16GB DDR3s, now I can't get even a 4GB DDR4 stick with it.
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