RAM prices due for a rebound this quarter?

— 1:59 PM on January 16, 2008

Prices for DDR2 memory seem impossibly low nowadays, but they may be in for a rebound this quarter, judging by an article on Taiwan's Taipei Times. The article quotes memory market analysis firm DRAMeXchange as saying prices for 512Mb DDR2 memory chips are likely to go over $1 a pop by the end of the quarter. 512Mb DDR2 chips are currently priced at around 94 cents, down from over $6 a year ago.

This isn't the first time analysts have forecasted rebounding memory prices—several already did so last year only to be proven wrong. However, DRAMeXchange says higher demand caused by the Chinese New Year coupled with lower supply due to ProMOS Technologies' forthcoming factory maintenance operations are sure to trigger an increase this time. (ProMOS is Taiwan's number three memory maker.) All in all, DRAMeXchange expects 512Mb DDR2 chip prices to rebound to "exceed US$1 to US$1.2 per unit." Prices for 1Gb chips may also rise from $1.94 today to $2.5 before the quarter is through.

An end to the downward spiral in memory pricing would be a welcome change for Taiwanese memory firms. In their fourth-quarter financial results announcements next week, DRAMeXchange expects memory makers Powerchip Semiconductor, ProMOS, and Nanya to post losses of NT$7.1 billion ($220 million), NT$5.3 billion ($164 million), and NT$4 billion ($124 million), respectively.

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