Micron, Samsung and SK hynix cut DDR4 DRAM investment

Start 2021 with a RAM price increase following the decisions of Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron: They will focus on flash memory.

The decisions have consequences, especially when the decision-makers represent 95% of the RAM market. We are talking about Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron, the 3 main manufacturers of RAM, which sell their memory to Corsair, G.Skill, ADATA, Team Force as well as Kingston to name a few. Now, Samsung and SK Hynix decide to change course.

The price of DDR4 RAM, DDR5 RAM is going up?

As you know, the Intel and AMD platforms hereafter will support DDR5 RAM, so manufacturers should start mass production of these chips earlier. However, it seems that the decision to invest in other companies has nothing to do with DDR5.

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Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron account for 95% of the RAM market, but only SK Hynix and Samsung have 75%. This means that there is a kind of “duopoly” that has a lot of power in this sector; moreover, both are Korean, so everything is at home.

The news coming out of China is that Samsung and SK will focus on molding and flash memory, so primarily NAND memory (SSDs). Although reports suggest that the investment in DRAMs will be the same as in 2020, Samsung will switch some production lines from DRAMs to CIS, reducing the supply of RAM.

The effect of this decision is a reduction in supply, meaning less choice for consumers looking to buy RAM. We believe the DRAM market will not be as strong this year as companies and consumers wait for Alder Lake-S and Zen 4, platforms that will feature DDR5 and processors with new architectures (as well as a more advanced process).

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Micron, Samsung and SK hynix cut DDR4 DRAM investment

Based on December 2020, the price of DRAM memory has increased by up to 30%, which we can see in Spain. To tell you, the price increase is uneven, so you will see more expensive modules than others at the same price as before. However, it is an effect that will consolidate during the month.

Taking these G.SKILL Trident Z RGB DDR4 16 GB (2×8 GB) modules as an example, we have noticed a significant price change. Compared to December, the price has increased by 12 GB, which is 11.5% more than the previous month.

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