System memory prices to keep sinking
Late last month, we heard reports that said DRAM memory prices would keep going down until May. However, EE Times now quotes a new report by memory market research firm DRAMeXchange that says the trend towards bargain-basement memory prices won't change until the second half of the year—that is, no sooner than June. DRAMeXchange predicts that prices will actually keep going down until the middle of the year, as well. Name-brand 2GB DDR2-667 memory kits are currently selling for less than $100 at some online stores, so a continued decline could conceivably see the same kits selling closer to the $90 mark or perhaps even below. A 512Mb chip of DDR2-667 memory costs $2.57 on average today, EE Times says, so 2GB worth of those chips adds up to a scant $82.24.
As one might expect, this trend isn't all good for memory makers: according to DRAMeXchange, they're dangerously close to losing money on DRAM sales. To keep their profits up, some DRAM makers are trying to avoid the mainstream market altogether. Qimonda, for one, is shifting focus to graphics memory. The same goes for Micron, which is reportedly introducing chips with "special specifications" in order to avoid the mainstream segment.