TrendForce analysts predict price growth for DDR3 memory in the second quarter of this year. The increase could be up to 5% compared to the current quarter. The reasons are related to the reduction in production volumes of this type of memory by the main suppliers, who prefer to increase their capacities for the production of memory of the new DDR5 standard, with which the new Intel and AMD platforms work and will work.
According to experts, while South Korean suppliers are actively curtailing the production of DDR3 memory, Taiwanese companies do not yet have new capacities to increase the production of these microcircuits. Manufacturers from China, in turn, faced with an insufficient yield of suitable products in the production of DDR3. At the same time, buyers stock up on DDR3 chips in advance, which leads to an imbalance between supply and demand in the market.
Analysts explain that South Korean Samsung and SK hynix are reducing the production of DDR3 memory and are going to completely stop the production of 1, 2 and 4-gigabit chips in the near future. Micron, in turn, is not going to stop the production of DDR3 memory in the near future. The manufacturer will continue to produce DDR3 chips after 2026. In addition, the company plans to relocate its production facilities for this type of memory from Taiwan to its American plant, where it mainly produces specialized DRAM solutions. But as this plant’s capacity will be allocated to meet the needs of the consumer and automotive markets, the aforementioned migration will actually reduce Micron’s offerings in consumer DRAM solutions. This is explained by
Taiwanese companies Nanya Tech and Winbond also intend to increase the production of DDR3 memory. However, there are no opportunities for this yet. Their new plants are under construction and will be launched no earlier than 2023-2024.
Chinese companies CXMT and GigaDevice continue to produce DDR3 memory chips, but both have not yet lived up to production volume expectations, despite the recent expansion of their capacities. JHICC, in turn, was on the US sanctions list and is now facing restrictions on the purchase of new equipment, which makes it difficult for the Chinese manufacturer to expand production volumes. In addition, the company does not have extra funds for new research and pilot projects. Currently, JHICC is mainly engaged in the production of 4Gb DDR4 memory chips based on the 24nm process technology and does not produce DDR3 memory at all.
Purchase prices for DDR3 memory chips have gone from falling to rising, TrendForce notes. This is partly due to a month-long quarantine in Chinese Xi’an at the end of last year . The ensuing rise in memory chip prices forced buyers to stock up on large quantities of chips in advance in anticipation of further shortages. Although demand for DDR3 chips for consumer end products has yet to fully recover, many OEMs continue to ramp up purchases in the hope of avoiding further price increases or a situation where DDR3 memory may not be available at all.