The 55% increase seen in DRAM ASP’s in 2009, are not sustainable, according to iSuppli Corp. ASP’s are set to decline throughout 2010 but prices will end up essentially flat with last years average prices due to the late strong surge in prices last year. DDR3 accounted for 35% of bit shipments in the fourth quarter, while DDR2 was 48% of the market but is on a continuous decline, according to the market research firm. In the first quarter of 2010, the two will swap places, and DDR3 will account for the lion’s share of DRAM bit shipments.
Prices for the two DRAM technologies will be kept close as major DRAM manufacturers shift production between DDR3 and DDR2 in order to optimize revenue, according to iSuppli.
“The roadmap of Intel Corp. clearly points to a DDR3 future,” noted Mike Howard, iSuppli senior analyst for DRAM. “Already, all of the company’s Nehalem-based chips run DDR3, and a DDR3-only Atom processor is also in imminent release.”
Interestingly, the low point in prices was seen in the first quarter of 2009 and not seen since 2001. However, the DRAM industry ended the fourth quarter at US$8.7 billion, up 43% from US$6.1 billion in the earlier quarter.
The fourth quarter revenue gains were said to be driven largely by a firm pricing environment, in which DRAM ASP reached US$2.66, a 20 percent increase from US$2.21 in the third quarter.