SAN FRANCISCO — DRAM revenue climbed to a historic high of $19.2 billion in the third quarter as contract prices for DRAM chips rose by about 5 percent on average amid a memory chip capacity crunch, according to market research firm DRAMeXchange.
DRAM sales increased by 16 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter as the electronics industry geared up for the holiday season, DRAMeXchange (Taipei) said.
Avril Wu, a research director at DRAMeXchange, said she expects DRAM prices will increase about 10 percent in the fourth quarter. She attributed the price increase largely to influence of the booming mobile DRAM market.
"Depending on the capacity specifications, prices of mobile DRAM products could go up by 10 percent to 20 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the third," Wu said in a press statement. "As for the server DRAM market, strong demand during the fourth quarter also will push up contract prices of memory modules by 6 percent to 10 percent from the previous three-month period.”
A shortage of DRAM capacity combined with its inclusion in more types of products is helping make 2017 one of the best years ever for DRAM sales growth. Market research firm IC Insights recently forecast that DRAM sales will increase by 74 percent this year, helping to propel the broader chip market to 22 percent growth.
South Korean memory chip giants Samsung and sk Hynix held nearly three-quarters of the DRAM market in the third quarter, while U.S.-based Micron Technology held about 13 percent, according to DRAMeXchange. The firm said it expects rising prices to help Micron narrow the market share gap in the fourth quarter.
— Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.