Bad news: DRAM prices continue to rise

Written by Guillaume
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An essential component of the IT industry, DRAM has had its ups and downs... and we hope we'll soon be heading for the latter.

Two months ago, we reported on the latest reports from analysts at TrendForce, a firm specializing in DRAM component pricing - but not only - and which takes advantage of the opportunity to draw up a regular picture of the state of the market. As far as possible, TrendForce also looks to the future, and today we're talking about DRAM prices that could be seen in three or even six months' time.

Alas, the future is clearly not rosy, and initially TrendForce confirms its estimates for the first and second quarters of 2023. Indeed, since the beginning of the year, DRAM has only become more expensive, a situation that has actually lasted since September 2023. At the time, we were coming off a particularly profitable summer, with the lowest prices ever recorded for DRAM and, by extension, for RAM modules. TrendForce pointed out at the time, however, that demand could soon pick up again, bringing with it a rise in prices. Over the autumn of 2023, demand has indeed risen, but by far more than TrendForce had predicted.


For example, TrendForce had not foreseen that artificial intelligence would boom and that demand for high-speed memory (HBM) would explode to such an extent. In fact, most of the major manufacturers - Samsung, Micron and SK Hynix - have redirected part of their DRAM production to this much more profitable HBM: not enough, however, for HBM prices to stabilize. On the other hand, by redirecting part of their production in this way, the DRAM giants have made DDR and GDDR supply scarce, and while demand has not weakened, prices have logically been driven upwards.

Observed throughout the first half of 2023, this rise is set to continue into the third and probably fourth quarters of 2024. TrendForce is quite clear on this point, with third-quarter increases estimated at between 3% and 13%, depending on the product concerned: 3% to 8% for video memory, but 8% to 13% for DDR5 for servers. For the fourth quarter of the year, TrendForce does not yet give a numerical estimate, but seems to believe that the increase will be fairly similar. Finally, the firm is pessimistic for 2025, as it does not see demand for HBM on the one hand and DDR on the other weakening over the first few months of the year. Let's just hope that manufacturers have been able to increase production.