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DRAM price surges 85.1 pct this year on restricted supply

2017/12/03 09:05

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SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- Global dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip prices surged 85.1 percent throughout the year fueled by restrictions in supply, a market research company said Sunday.

DRAMeXchange, which tracks sales of computer chips, said prices of the semiconductors in a wide range of digital devices have been on the rise steadily since late 2016. DRAM prices stood at US$3.59 as of end November from just $1.94 at the end of last year.

It said the average contract price of DDR4 4 gigabit (Gb) 2133 MHz moved up 2.57 percent in November vis-a-vis the previous month, following 7.69 percent gains posted in October over September. DDR4s are the latest variant of DRAMs.

At the end of October, prices for the same chip stood at $3.50.

DRAMeXchange said supply is falling short of demand and this development pushed up DRAM prices last month. It added manufacturers have hit a snag in coming up with more advanced ways to make semiconductors, which is raising the prospect of tight supply at least until early 2018.

The latest findings then showed that prices of NAND flash memory, used in smartphones, memory cards and USBs, have stayed relatively flat. The price of the 128 Gb 16Gx8 MLC chip was $5.60 last month, unchanged from late September.

Compared with late 2016, when the average price of the chip was $4.22, the value of this nonvolatile storage chip did rise 32.7 percent.

The market researcher said sales of MLC chips fueled by demand of smartphones seems to have peaked in October. It added that because there is little demand for such chips outside of smartphones, MLC NAND prices are expected to stay relatively unchanged going forward.

yonngong@yna.co.kr

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