Falling RAM prices will slow in the coming quarter but
Hardware

Falling RAM prices will slow in the coming quarter, but there’s no end in sight

DRAM chip makers, mainly Micron and SK Hynix, have started to scale back production. The average selling price (ASP) of DRAM fell 20% in the first quarter of 2023 and will fall further in the second quarter, but will slow to 10-15%, analysts say TrendForce. It is not yet clear whether demand will recover in the second half of the year. The price of DRAM continues to fall due to high inventories and a price recovery is only possible in the event of a significant reduction in production.

    Image source: Harrison Broadbent / unsplash.com

Image source: Harrison Broadbent / unsplash.com

In the PC RAM segment, sales have fallen sharply over the past three quarters, with PC makers now holding 9 to 13 weeks of inventory. Component suppliers have already reduced production volumes, but the 8GB DDR4 module is expected to fall 10% in price in the second quarter. PC OEMs could increase their DRAM purchases due to price cuts, but it’s not yet clear if this move will help alleviate overstocking. PC DRAM prices will fall by 10-15%, TrendForce analysts predict.

Demand for server DRAM from OEMs and cloud providers is still weak due to inventory adjustments. Does not arouse optimism and demand among server buyers. Component manufacturers are increasing the proportion of northern memory in the range, which led to a significant build-up of inventories in the first quarter of 2023 – with falling capacity utilization, although this measure has not yet had a noticeable impact on prices. According to TrendForce forecasts, server memory ASP will drop by 13-18% in Q2 2023.

    Image source: trendforce.com

Image source: trendforce.com

Smartphone DRAM inventories have returned to relatively normal levels, but brands are largely following a conservative manufacturing strategy, meaning demand for mobile DRAM will remain subdued in the second quarter, in turn due to inventory clearing cannot be covered even by production cuts. Mobile DRAM ASP will continue to decline in the second quarter of 2023 according to TrendForce, but there is still a possibility that the negative price momentum will reach 10-15%.

Graphics DRAM consumers are reluctant to replenish their stocks – even the emerging boom in artificial intelligence has not had a positive impact on demand. The average price for industry-leading 16Gb GDDR6 chips in the second quarter of 2023 will decrease by 10-15% compared to the previous quarter, according to TrendForce. Now the industry is moving from 8 to 16 Gb DRAM. At the end of the year, Samsung will slow down production of 8Gb chips, and the only manufacturer with such an outdated offer will remain SK hynix – perhaps this will stabilize the price of 8Gb chips.

Finally, a similar picture can be observed in the DRAM segment for consumer devices: demand for network equipment is relatively stable, but supply continues to outpace it, causing ASP DRAM to decline by 10-15% according to TrendForce analysts. in Q2.

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Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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