It was three years ago when Adata chairman Simon Chen declared the DRAM market the worst it's been in 15 years. Perhaps his early recognition of how bad things had become ultimately helped Adata weather the ongoing storm and make business decisions that, in the fourth quarter of 2011, will grow the company's revenues by double digits. How is that possible when the only thing DRAM players talk about anymore is cutting production?
Micron this week announced financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter and 2011 fiscal year ended September 1, 2011, and the numbers aren't pretty. The company's revenue from DRAM in the third quarter dropped 12 percent compared to Q3, a slump Micron said was the result of declines in the average selling prices. Revenue from sales of NAND flash products picked up some of the slack and grew 11 percent, but doesn't have enough volume to make up for the downturn in DRAM.
Maybe you're aware that DDR3 memory is nearly as cheap as tap water these days. That means you can totally justify stocking up on gobs of RAM, but at what point do you stop? Long before 288GB, which is more than your motherboard or any consumer board supports, but is exactly the amount you can stick in Gigabyte's GA-7TESM motherboard.
We've been monitoring the sorry state of the DRAM market closely for some time now, and whenever there's an update, it's almost always bad news for manufacturers. In recent weeks, it's also been bad for consumers who've grown accustomed to rock bottom pricing. Seemingly faced with no other choice, DRAM makers have started to cut production, and it's no longer just one or two companies.
SanDisk woke up this morning and decided to blitz the market with a fistful of storage products, including a massive 64GB microSDXC card. The 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I card doubles the performance and capacity of SanDisk's professional-grade imaging lineup and is based on the latest SD 3.0 specification's Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus architecture.
Powerchip Technology announced plans to cut its total PC DRAM output in half, and perhaps even more. The move is intended to slow, stop, or even reverse the massive slide in revenues that were recorded in August, and in the meantime, Powerchip will look to other markets as it tries to increase its bottom line.
Google Docs was offline for over an hour on Wednesday afternoon, leading many users to express their frustration with Google’s cloud office suite. Google has now offered an explanation of the issue that led to the outage, and it can all be traced back to a memory bug on the server side. A change in the collaboration feature led to higher than expected resource usage and uncovered the bug, which had been lurking in the back end for some time.
You'd probably have a better shot at turning a profit selling ice cubes to Eskimos than churning out DRAM chips at today's prices. That's less of an exaggeration than you might think, and to cope with continually falling prices, some DRAM makers have decided to scale back operations until chip prices bounce back up.
The law of gravity dictates that what goes up must come down, and unfortunately for DRAM chip makers, there's nothing that says what goes down must also go back up. DRAM pricing continues to find new rock bottoms, and according to market research firm IHS iSuppli, things are about to get a whole lot worse.
The gluttonous system building gurus over at AVADirect just added a 48GB DDR3 RAM option to a handful of non-ECC setups, including two gaming machines, a recently launched silent PC, and a workstation system. Who in their right mind could possibly justify such a superfluous amount of system memory? The answer is not many, though it's nice to have the option, isn't it?