Hynix is still trying to recover from a fire at one of its fabs
The DRAM market pretty much bottomed out a few years ago and has never fully recovered, though we've seen prices slowly rise from time to time. In most cases we're only talking about a few dollars difference for a memory kit, which isn't so bad except that it adds up over time. That trend is likely to continue throughout 2014 as SK Hynix struggles to fully resume wafer production at a fab that suffered fire damage in China.
Last September, Hynix tried to downplay the extent of damage and said that things appeared worse in pictures than they really were.
"Currently, there is no material damage to the fab equipment in the clean room, thus we expect to resume operations in a short time period so that overall production and supply volume would not be materially affected," a representative for Hynix said in a statement at the time.
Citing industry sources, Digitimes says Hynix is having a more difficult time getting back to normal output levels than it anticipated. Hynix has resumed full operations at the fab that was damaged by the fire, but yield rates have been worse than expected, causing some PC vendors to reject shipments.
That single fab accounts for almost half of the 260,000 DRAM wafers Hynix produces each month, which is equal to 10 percent of the world's DRAM wafer production. That being the case, DRAM production for PCs is expected to remain tight through all of 2014, which could lead to higher priced memory kits.