Both the prices of SDRAM chips and NAND flash devices are expected to rise in the third quarter of 2021. As a result, DDR4 kits and SSDs could become a bit expensive here as well. The market research team at Trendforce attributes the price increases in part to rising demand for servers. In addition, there is the traditionally high demand in the late summer in preparation for the vacation and Christmas season.
Depending on the product category, there is talk of 3 to 15 percent higher prices in the coming months. According to Trendforce, client SSDs could increase by up to eight percent, as could DDR4 UDIMMs for desktop PCs and DDR4 SODIMMs for notebooks.
The generally high demand for desktop graphics cards, notebook graphics chips and the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X game consoles continues to create severe shortages of GDDR6(X) devices, even though Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron are said to have already converted 90 percent of their graphics SDRAM production to meet the demand. The graphics card prices of the GeForce RTX 3000 and Radeon RX 6000 series have dropped recently, but they are still clearly above AMD’s and Nvidia’s recommendations.
Intel CPUs increase demand
According to Trendforce, data center operators are increasingly switching to Intel’s Xeon processors from the Ice Lake-SP series. AMD was able to win back market share with Epyc, but Intel still sets the tone with around 90 percent. Ice Lake-SP are the first server CPUs with 10 nanometer structures from Intel. After years of 14 nm rehashes without many innovations, the increase in the number of cores from 28 to up to 40 could also animate many to roar.
Memory manufacturers prioritize SDRAM and NAND flash chips for servers due to high margins. The PC, tablet and smartphone markets have to take a back seat.
Rare SSD controllers
In the case of SSDs, controllers continue to be in short supply, which could drive price increases higher than 8 percent for individual models. However, models with 1 TByte capacity and more have been stable for months despite the poor forecasts. The controller bottlenecks are most likely to show up in SSDs with up to 512 GB capacity. Some manufacturers change supplier or model to increase production. Patriot gets into the headlines due to undocumented jungst.
Meanwhile, the prices of DDR4 kits have already been rising sharply since the end of 2020. Recently there was a slight decrease, however the trend does not stop. 16 GBytes of DDR4-3200 currently cost just under 80 euros – current processors from AMD’s Ryzen-5000 series (Vermeer) and Intel’s Core i-11000 (Rocket Lake-S) are approved for the clock frequencies.