Industry stub

RAM Prices on the Rise as Fabs Transition to 20nm

Posted on February 2, 2017

As predicted, DRAM-dependent components continue to grow more expensive as demand outpaces supply. Nanya Technology president Pei-Ing Lee confirmed that their DRAM’s average price will increase in the first and second quarter of 2017.

When we published our “Why Are RAM Prices So High” article in 2014, DRAM was transitioning to 25nm wafers—and now it’s transitioning again, this time to 20nm. Prices in the second half of 2017 are expected to stabilize, but depend largely on how quickly manufacturers gear up for the move to smaller dies—Nanya Technology will be simultaneously increasing 20nm production while cutting down on 30nm going into 2018.

Production of mobile devices and the NAND Flash/mobile DRAM used in them has exploded in recent years as well, and even now manufacturers are struggling to balance this extremely profitable production with more niche desktop memory. Hopefully, though, 2017 is the peak year for prices—but given the small number of companies producing DRAM, it could take a while for them to fall again.

- Patrick Lathan