The latest report from DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, indicates that the general demand in the server DRAM market has yet to recover at the start of the third quarter. With demand not picking up, original DRAM suppliers are having difficulty in maintaining their prices. Furthermore, agents are beginning to grow conservative towards the market, and they are selling the original suppliers’ products at a lower price to clients in order to boost sales. As a result, prices across the entire server market have been fluctuating in July.
DRAMeXchange analyst Angel Liou said PC DRAM prices, which are affected by the slacking end demand, are showing greater decline. Since PC and server DRAM prices have high correlation, the falling PC DRAM prices will frustrate efforts to moderate the ongoing price decline in the server DRAM market. Moreover, falling DDR4 prices has led to a notable price reduction for the DDR3 memory. The average contract prices for 8 GB and 16 GB DDR3 R-DIMM products were respectively down to US$64 and US$116 by the end of July, representing a monthly drop of 5~6%. DDR4 R-DIMM memory had an even greater price decrease in July, with both 8 GB and 16 GB products falling by 8~9% in average compared with the prior month. The current price difference between DDR3 and DDR4 is just 7% and will continue to shrink.
Liou added that the density of the mainstream memory module is gradually moving up to 32 GB due to the increase in the 8 Gb chip output. With the 20 nm process becoming more mature, the 8Gb mono-die production will stabilize, and the 32GB R-DIMM modules will have better cost structure and margin as their production crosses a technological threshold. Therefore, the prices of 32GB R-DIMM products will become even more competitive. An examination of DDR4 32GB R-DIMM contract prices shows that while there still is a US$40 difference between the highest and lowest prices, this price difference is narrowing rapidly. DRAMeXchange therefore expects DDR4 32GB R-DIMM to become the mainstream module for servers by the end of this year.