The crisis in electronics leads to an increase in the cost of DDR5 – there will be no cheap memory

A couple of weeks ago

we wrote

that the shortage in the semiconductor market could lead to more serious consequences than previously expected. For example, the supply of various electronic devices will not grow, plus prices for literally everything related to electronics are going up, and what is there – entire factories for the production of both electronic devices and cars are shutting down.

Price increases are a serious problem in themselves. For example, the constant rise in the cost of initial resources, the lack of memory chips, etc. leads to an increase in the cost of new elements, including DDR5. According to experts, the new memory strips will be at least 50% more expensive than the previous generation RAM, that is, DDR4.

Is 50% a lot?

Yes, very much, because previously there was no such difference between the new and the previous generation of RAM.
According to representative of MSI, this is the biggest price difference in the history of electronics.

Previously, the maximum rise in price was about 40%, but more often – 30%, which, in general, is not so much. Now the situation is different – the price is raised by a number of factors, the combination of which leads to the appearance of the “ideal storm”, which we have already written about.

Worst of all, the originally set value will remain constant for the coming year. Usually the price of planks has been falling since the next generation, but not now. Accordingly, the price of new devices will also be steadily high.

One more factor is added to the factors of the rise in cost, which were already mentioned above – the cost of the components used in the new memory. For example, DDR5 is equipped with power controllers and voltage regulation modules. Previously, some of the elements were located on the motherboard. DDR5 also differs from the previous generation by the presence of a new on-die Error Correction Code (ODECC) technology.

Not only DDR5

The problem is that the price of all memory chips is going up now, including DDR4, DDR3 and even DDR2. At the beginning of the year, in just a month, the cost of DDR4 chips increased by 7% at once, and DDR2 – by 10%. As for SSDs, their price by the end of the second quarter of 2021 increased by 5%, this is the corporate sector. Custom SSDs are up 8% more expensive. The details of what happened and the prospects – under the cut. Well, in the comments, let’s discuss what to expect.

In 2021, the most expensive are “niche” memory chips that are used in specific devices or have a small amount of memory. For example, DDR3 with a volume of 4 GB became more expensive immediately by 8.93%.

Chips for data centers is a very interesting topic, but we have other articles, check it out – we talk about:
→ Small “raspberries” in a large data center
→ Dynamic UPSs in data centers: how we installed Piller CPM300 double conversion
→ Disassembly of a rare beast from Nvidia – DGX A100

The cost of quite modern chips has also increased, including 8 GB DDR4 memory modules, but by only 4%. 4GB DDR4 RAM costs 6.6% more. The price of 1 GB DDR2 (yes, they are still being produced) has risen at a record price – by 10.1% in just a month.

Some companies have even begun to resume production of seemingly outdated chips, the cost of which has increased the most. Thus, Nanya and Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (PSMC) from Taiwan decided to re-equip part of the production for the production of DDR3 modules.

And Winbond, which supplies the vast majority of BIOS chips to the market, has begun building an additional facility to manufacture DRAM chips.

Okay, but when to expect DDR5 devices?

The situation here is somewhat confusing. The fact is that DDR5 support is available for Intel Alder Lake processors (12th generation Core), which will not appear on sale until November 2021.

Accordingly, the distribution of new generation memory starts after these processors are available. By the way, they also support DDR4. Probably, the manufacturer, Intel, decided to play it safe – after all, not all buyers of new chips will be ready to purchase new PCs or motherboards with DDR5 support. Most likely, a small fraction of buyers will be switching to a new infrastructure in the context of extremely high prices for electronics. At the same time, the performance gain of systems with Intel Alder Lake with DDR4 will be only a couple of tens of percent lower than with DDR5.

As for AMD, its new chips with Zen 4 architecture for the new socket AM5 will appear only in the first half of next year. These processors will also support DDR5.

The DDR5 memory sticks themselves went on sale in the summer of 2021. It all started with the sale of two 32GB desktops for $ 311. The new memory provides bandwidth up to 38.4 GB / s at 25.6 GB / s in the most powerful DDR4 strips. At the same time, there is nowhere to install new memory – after all, systems with DDR5 support are not yet on the market, as mentioned above. But there was not long to wait.

The expansion of DDR5, according to experts, will not be particularly fast. In the next year, 2022, it will occupy no more than 10% of the market, and in 2024 – about 40%. And all this time, DDR5 will be expensive – unless, of course, the crisis with the production of electronic components is resolved.

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