Tue, Oct 04, 2016 - Page 12 News List

PC DRAM chip prices expected to increase

SUPPLY AND DEMAND:On the spot market, prices for DDR3 and DDR4 4-gigabyte chips have risen up to 19%, indicating supply constraints amid higher laptop demand

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

The prices of PC DRAM chips are expected to surge 30 percent this quarter to hit a two-year high after an aggravated supply crunch boosted prices by 7.4 percent last month from August, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday.

The latest projection is much higher than a 10 percent price increase estimated by the Taipei-based researcher early last month.

TrendForce research director Avril Wu (吳雅婷) attributed the expected price surge primarily to stronger-than-expected global demand for notebook computers during the peak season.

Also, an increasing number of new laptops are equipped with more memory, up to 8 gigabytes each, Wu said.

Last month, the contract prices for PC DRAM chips jumped to US$14.5 per unit, according to price information from TrendForce.

DRAM chipmakers usually negotiate chip prices once a month with notebook computer vendors.

The price hikes are even more drastic on the spot market. DDR3 and DDR4 4-gigabyte chips traded on a daily basis have surged 19 percent and 15 percent to US$2.1 and US$2 per unit respectively this month from a month earlier, according to the research house.

“This indicates that the supply constraint is continuing to worsen,” Wu said in a report released yesterday. “PC vendors are adding orders at higher prices [to cope with rising laptop demand], while the increased demand has greatly surpassed the expectations of DRAM chipmakers.”

Wu said supply of PC DRAM chips also becomes pinched as the world’s major PC DRAM chipmakers accelerate their expansion into memory chips used in handsets and servers to broaden their product portfolios and minimize operational risks.

The situation becomes more complicated as some memorychip makers are seeing lower yield rates when converting existing technology to more advanced 20-nanometer technology, Wu said.

In the current quarter, the world’s major memorychip makers are to allocate a smaller portion, or less than 20 percent, of their capacity for PC memorychip manufacturing, as those chipmakers prefer producing more expensive chips used in smartphones, Wu said.

Global memorychip makers led by Samsung Electronics Co allocate 40 percent of their capacity to produce memory chips for phones to cope with rising demand, as the fourth quarter is also a high season for smartphone sales, she said.

The stock price of the nation’s largest PC DRAM chipmaker, Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技), rose 0.51 percent yesterday, underperforming the TAIEX, which climbed 0.72 percent.

This story has been viewed 2737 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top