images Taiwanese DRAM makers are feeling the pressure from Korean competition

We've reported on the move towards 3Xnm DRAM products by Hynix and Samsung in the past and it now seems like the Taiwanese DRAM makers are really starting to feel the pressure as they can no longer compete in terms of cost. On top of that, the Taiwanese DRAM manufacturers don't get as many DRAM chipset per wafer as their Korean competitors which further worsens their cost competitiveness.

We've reported on the move towards 3Xnm DRAM products by Hynix and Samsung in the past and it now seems like the Taiwanese DRAM makers are really starting to feel the pressure as they can no longer compete in terms of cost. On top of that, the Taiwanese DRAM manufacturers don't get as many DRAM chipset per wafer as their Korean competitors which further worsens their cost competitiveness.

Digitimes is reporting that the spot price for 2Gbit DDR3 memory (that's 256MB chips) is now below US$1 and the Taiwanese DRAM manufacturers are fearing that this will drop to as little as 65 cents per chip once 3Xnm manufacturing kicks off in volume early next year. Many of the Taiwanese DRM manufacturers have only finished their transition to 4Xnm this year and aren't expected to move to 3Xnm until later next year.

There's no doubt that the DRAM industry has become yet another commodity industry when it comes to computer components and to be able to stay competitive, a lot of investments in manufacturing processes are needed by the DRAM makers. This makes it a high cost/low return rate industry unless you're a market leader. As such we might see several smaller players pull out of the DRAM industry next year, or move to more profitable mobile DRAM products for tablets and smartphones.

The only winner is consumers which are seeing cheap and cheaper memory, or alternatively you get more memory for the same kind of money. That said; Microsoft has made some pretty convincing claims about Windows 8 using less memory than Windows 7, so the question is if consumer PCs will need more memory in the future or not. Either which way, it looks like we'll be moving towards faster DRAM over the next six months or so with both AMD and Intel supporting faster and faster memory speeds. This would of course require more stringent manufacturing control at the DRAM makers to reach the kind of speeds that are currently generally fairly exclusive for overclocking modules.

Source: Digitimes