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DRAM bit growth to stop in 2009 as fab utilization rates sink below 50%

31 March 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Fab Management

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In consideration of DRAM bit growth levels of 95% in 2007 and 66% in 2008, bit growth of 2.43% projected by DRAMeXchange for all of 2009 translates to a halt in growth. Lack of cash and weak end-markets are resulting in low utilization rates that are expected to drag bit growth down and keep some memory manufacturers struggling with sub-50% fab utilisation rates by the end of the year. DRAMeXchange had previously forecasted DRAM bit growth for 2009 of 17.82%.

Production cuts should see DRAM supply below that of demand in the second half of the year, with DRAM DDR2 prices up in the range of US$1.2-US$1.5 if inventory levels also fall.

According to DRAMeXchange, DRAM output dropped to 687 million units (1Gb) in February, 2009, down 21% from the highest point reached at 867 million (1Gb) in September 2008. DRAM output is expected to fall further as more production cuts were instigated in the first quarter.

 

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