SAN FRANCISCO—The contract price of 2-GB DRAM modules has decreased nearly 16 percent in July compared with June, a warning sign that the DRAM market outlook for the second half of 2011 could be difficult, according to DRAMeXchange, a research division of market intelligence firm TrendForce.
DRAM prices have not experienced the gradual increase in July that they did in previous years, according to DRAMeXchange. Transaction volume has also shrunk rapidly since June, according to the firm. PC shipment projections have been adjusted downwards, content per box growth has slowed, economies are sluggish worldwide, the firm said.
"With no sign of improvement, these factors have caused DRAM prices to decrease far more quickly than expected," DRAMeXchange said in a report.
The wave of falling DRAM prices comes just two years after the lowest point of the global financial crisis, catching DRAM makers off guard, according to DRAMeXchange. Due to price declines, even the most advanced 30-nm DRAM parts are close to "break even," meaning that manufacturers are commanding only slightly higher prices for the devices than it costs to make them, the firm said.
The total number of DRAM wafer starts is down 2 percent compared to this time last year, DRAMeXchange said.