DRAM Exchange, which tracks memory prices, said that part of the reason for the underlying decline is that notebook shipments in the third quarter didn’t reach expectations, with the Windows 10 free upgrade hitting potential sales of new notebooks.
Analyst VP Avril Wu said that sales of both smartphones and servers aren’t great. “This seriously eroded the margins of DRAM suppliers,” she said. “If the global economy continues to stagnate, the end market will not generate the demand needed to effectively consume the new DRAM chips produced on advanced processes.”
She predicted that prices will continue decline in the first half of next year, and the decline will be “more severe than the current slide”.
The DRAM market continues to be dominated by Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron and they moving production of the chips to 17 nanometres, meaning higher densities and better power efficiency.
Samsung will start producing 18 nanometre technology chips next year, and is ahead of the other two players.