The price of DDR3 could increase by as much as 50% in 2021 as demand for the DRAM module outweighs supply.
Yes, you read that correctly. Despite the fact that DDR4 has been around for seven years and will soon be succeeded by super-fast DDR5, Digitimes (opens in new tab) reports that demand for older DDR3 memory is beginning to outstrip supply.
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While DDR4 is now the mainstream option for PC devices, DDR3 - which first debuted in 2007 - is still widely used in IoT devices, older servers, and other devices that need to be operational for decades.
However, many manufacturers such as SK Hynix and Samsung are slowing down protection of DDR3, or stopping it altogether, in preparation for the arrival of DDR5, which is expected to go into mass production later this year.
SK Hynix has stopped producing 2GB DDR3 memory chips completely, and Samsung has cut its monthly production of DDR3 modules from 60,000 wafers to just 20,000.
While smaller companies, including Nanya Technology and PSMC, are continuing with DDR4 production, Digitimes claims it won’t be enough to meet demand; the former has the capacity to manufacture 100,000 wafers each month, while the latter has a monthly production run of just 30,000-40,000 wafers.
The report claims that the price of DDR3 memory will jump in value by 20% during the first quarter of 2021, increasing to 40% to 50% before the year is out.
DDR3 modules aren't the only piece of tech that's in short supply right now. GDDR6 is also hard to come by, contributing to the supply issues faced by AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 and Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series GPUs.