Server DRAM pricing trend and strategies

Samsung Launches 12Gb LPDDR4 DRAMThe price of server DRAM is set to increase due to tough supply conditions in the first quarter of 2018, according to TrendForce.

The research report on server DRAM said that the higher clock rate (2666MHz and 2400MHz) production will overtake previous 2133MHz products and high-bandwidth server modules will become the mainstream products.

The server DRAM market has seen tight supply since Q3 2017 due to the construction projects initiated by IDCs (Internet data centers) from North America. The increase in demand has resulted into price hike.

DRAM makers could be conservative in production capacity plan in the first half of 2018. The new production capacity will not be available until H2 2018, resulting in tight supply and continuing price soar, at least in the first half of this year, according to TrendForce.

The negotiated price of DDR4 32GB RDIMM is $300 except for those based on long-term agreement. DRAM module quotes that will be offered to second-tier server ODMs (customers) will be averaging around $310, a quarterly 3-5 percent growth compared with Q4 2017.

Major server DRAM makers improve the manufacturing technology. Samsung will expand the wafer capacity of its 18nm process this year, while SK Hynix and Micron will both focus on 17nm and 18nm process, increasing the portion of high-density server modules in their production.

Samsung’s plan for DRAM production is to expand its wafer input in 18nm process, accounting for over 50 percent of the company’s total capacity.

SK Hynix and Micron will focus on raising the yield rates and are planning to conduct production more efficiently. For both SK Hynix and Micron, the 1xnm process will account for around 30 percent of their production capacity respectively.

The production of 17/18nm process will increase in Q2 2018. Efforts from these major suppliers will accelerate the market penetration of high-density server DRAM modules like 32GB DDR4 2666Mhz RDIMM, and the penetration of products of 17/18nm process will probably come to 40 percent by the end of this year.

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