In a rare bit of good news in the memory sector, Samsung is planning to significantly ramp up its DRAM output, which hopefully means that better pricing is on the horizon.
It has not been a fun situation for anyone in need of new RAM or a memory upgrade. Prices have steadily climbed over the past year, and a report came out last month suggesting that memory pricing could jump by 40 percent or more by the end of the year, capping off what would be the largest annual increase ever.
"Just one year ago, DRAM buyers took full advantage of the oversupply (excess capacity) portion of the cycle and negotiated the lowest price possible with the DRAM manufacturers, regardless of whether the DRAM suppliers lost money on the deal. Now, with tight capacity in the market, DRAM suppliers are getting their 'payback' and charging whatever the market will bear, regardless of whether the price increases hurt the users’ electronic system sales or causes it to lose money," IC Insights said at the time.
Now a month and a half later, Korean IT news organization ETimes reports (opens in new tab) that Samsung is extending a DRAM production lines at a couple of its semiconductor plants. Apparently Samsung has been bolstering its operations with new equipment since early October, with mass production expected to take place in the first quarter of 2018.
"Internally, Samsung Electronics is not happy that SK Hynix and Micron, which lack technical skills, are making their biggest profits from their DRAM businesses," said a representative who is familiar with memory semiconductor markets, according to ETimes. "Some of Samsung Electronics’ personnel believes that this economic boom needs to be finished before China enters DRAM markets."
Samsung is one of the biggest DRAM producers in the world. If it goes through with its plan to increase production, it could drive down pricing, though this is not likely to occur until the second half of next year. In the meantime, prices are still headed upwards.
In September, we pointed to this Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-2400 (opens in new tab) memory module priced at $80, up from $27 (opens in new tab) in June 2016 on Amazon. Now six weeks later, it's gone up even more, settling at around $100.
If you are need of new memory, you may want to wait until the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals start rolling into view.