Mobile Memory Prices on the Rise

Paul Lilly

The ever-volatile DRAM market continues to battle its share of supply and demand issues, the latest of which could affect smartphones and other gadgets with embedded RAM. Citing un-named industry sources, DigiTimes says prices for 512Mbit DDR, which are used for multi-chip package (MCP) memory products found mainly in mobile handsets, have shot up over 40 percent the past month due to tight supply.

The average spot price for 512Mb (64Mbitx8) SDRAM has gone from $1.53 a month ago to over $2.20 currently, the sources said. But mobile handsets aren't the only sector being affected.

Demand for 64Mb and 32Mb DDR memory in DVD players, hard drives, consumer electronics, and even home appliances have started to exceed supply.

Part of the reason for the widespread supply and demand issues can be traced to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC)'s withdrawal from the SDRAM foundry business. Prior to discontinuing the line earlier this year, SMIC used to allocate capacity of around 20,000 wafers for production of SDRAM chips.

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