Updated: Micron Fab-2 accident might raise DRAM prices further still

Folks looking to jump on a new system but lamenting the high price of memory might want to go ahead and take the plunge. Electronics supply and manufacturing news blog Evertiq is reporting that Micron's Fab-2 in Taiwan halted production at the beginning of this month following a failure in the facility's "nitrogen gas dispensing system."

The failure apparently led to the contamination of wafers and equipment in the facility. According to Evertiq, this will cut Micron Taiwan's production capacity from 125,000 wafer starts to around 60,000. Purportedly, that drop alone makes up around 5.5% of the global DRAM supply for this month, which means the parts that were already in short supply likely aren't getting any cheaper soon.

According to Evertiq, Micron Taiwan (also known as Inotera) is the primary supplier of the LPDDR4 packages that go in the iPhone. The site posits that the delay could affect iPhone shipments along with the PC and server markets that the fab services. Hopefully, Micron can get Fab-2 up and running again soon, because paying for RAM at a higher price per gigabyte now than I did in 2012 is getting old real fast.

Update 7/6/2017 8:45 AM: Micron denied Evertiq's report in a statement to Reuters:

"Regarding recent rumours about Micron's fabrication facility in Taoyuan, Taiwan, Micron hereby clarifies that there was no nitrogen leaking incident nor evacuating of personnel," Micron said in a statement. "There was indeed a minor facility event but operations are recovering speedily without material impact to the business."

Comments closed
    • southrncomfortjm
    • 3 years ago

    Even with the update, I see RAM prices going up.

    • Anovoca
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<] following a failure in the facility's "nitrogen gas dispensing system.[/quote<] I bet it was a disgruntled Lexar employee

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    I’m sure them memory makers would just loooovvvee love love this reason to raise prices even if no shortage really results from it.

    • brucethemoose
    • 3 years ago

    Not saying the original story is necessarily wrong, but you should edit in the official denial Micron posted:

    [url<]http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2017/07/06/2003673964[/url<] [url<]http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN19Q1CL[/url<] [quote<] "Regarding recent rumours about Micron's fabrication facility in Taoyuan, Taiwan, Micron hereby clarifies that there was no nitrogen leaking incident nor evacuating of personnel," Micron said in a statement. "There was indeed a minor facility event but operations are recovering speedily without material impact to the business." [/quote<]

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    that’s fine. i usually make the difference back in class actions for price fixing.

    • synthtel2
    • 3 years ago

    Not only is price per gig way up, we’re not even seeing performance improvements to match or anything. When I last bought myself RAM 4.5 years ago, I paid ~$38 for 8GB of DDR3-2133 CL9. Now 8GB DDR4 kits on Newegg start around $60, and that’s for 2133 CL15. When I bought that DDR3, it was the properly fast and futureproof choice, and that speed has turned out to be worth it regularly. Now the stuff I want (16GB DDR4-3200 CL14, above JEDEC by less than my last kit was) is $180!

    Between RAM, NAND, and graphics cards, this is getting seriously annoying.

    • bhtooefr
    • 3 years ago

    I think you mean purported failure.

    • lmc5b
    • 3 years ago

    Let me guess, another accident that should increase prices short term, but somehow the price increase associated with it will remain for much longer after it has been fixed.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      You are such [s<]a jaded cynic[/s<] an accurate observer. Like this global NAND shortage that started in early 2016 as manufacturers shifted to 3D NAND. Except everyone and their mother makes 3D NAND now and there's still somehow a global shortage and high pricing....

      • CuttinHobo
      • 3 years ago

      [DRAM consortium]: Yeah, accident…… *Twirls mustache all the way to the bank*

      I’m kidding… Well, mostly.

      • southrncomfortjm
      • 3 years ago

      How many years did it take for hard drive prices to return to normal after the tsunami?

        • cygnus1
        • 3 years ago

        Did they ever? A few years back (2013/2014) I chose 5TB drives for my NAS. While they don’t make those any more it pretty solidly burned in my memory what prices of different sizes were at the time. I use those purchases as a benchmark for drive prices and I paid about $180 each for those 5 TB drives. Currently 3TB drives have come down a bit since then, but 4 and 6 TB drives haven’t budged much, if at all. 8 TB NAS drive prices are a joke.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    Bad news: DRAM prices will likely go even higher.
    Good news: If you are in the market for a Micron 2017 commemorative [s<]plate[/s<] [u<]wafer[/u<] then have they got a deal for you.

      • Convert
      • 3 years ago

      I’d actually be interested in one of those.

        • morphine
        • 3 years ago

        Count me in.

        • skitzo_zac
        • 3 years ago

        I tried to click on the underlined “wafer” thinking it would be a link to buy one, was disappointed it didn’t go anywhere 🙁

      • Duct Tape Dude
      • 3 years ago

      I wouldn’t buy into those silly con wafers.

        • BurntMyBacon
        • 3 years ago

        Would you rather have Gallium Arse nide (GaAs) wafers?

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