DDR2 RAM pricing to plummet

While DDR2 RAM memory modules are being sold at something of a premium at present, prices will soon drop according to Lawrence Chang, vice president, sales and marketing of Kingmax Semiconductor.

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  September 28, 2005

While DDR2 RAM memory modules are being sold at something of a premium at present, prices will soon drop according to Lawrence Chang, vice president, sales and marketing of Kingmax Semiconductor. The memory market has seen quite a significant drop in the average prices for DDR2 memory modules in recent times. This is despite Intel being the only company in the world that was originally pushing for widespread adoption of the newer, higher-bandwidth memory technology and Kingmax firmly believes that the downward price trend will continue. DDR2 demand is now being driven mostly by channel sales and the big OEM vendors i.e. Dell and HP. "If the big players keep up the push with the notebook and OEM markets, and with Intel pushing OEMs to increase DDR2 production while lowering overall costs, then DDR2 prices will almost certainly drop," Chang continues. "In addition, recent price fluctuations have resulted in DDR DRAM prices increasing, while DDR2 prices remain almost stagnant. The end result has been that DDR2 memory is now selling at a price that’s lower than that of DDR," explains Chang. "As of Q2 this year, about 8% of Kingmax Semiconductor's production was devoted to DDR2. In Q3 we anticipate this to rise to about 10%, while in Q4 we estimate DDR2 to take up about 20% of Kingmax's total production output," Chang says. Kingmax is primarily a brand that’s well known for both flash as well as DRAM products, though the firm does have two seperate entities to handle the different product segments; Kingmax Digital and Kingmax Semiconductor. On the flash memory side of things, the firm is focussing its efforts on mini-SD, multimedia memory card (MMC), secure digital (SD), multimedia memory card (MMC), compact flash (CF) and lastly smart media. At the moment, Kingmax as a whole is ranked as the world's eighth-largest third-party DRAM-module supplier by iSuppli for the last two years. Kingmax is also the first company to implement the vertical integration process for memory manufacturing, as 30% of the DDR2 memory used by Kingmax is supplied in wafers and packaged by the company's own facilities. Packaging and testing is also done in-house, relying 100% on our own facilities and equipment. The DDR2 testing equipment it uses was purchased at a cost of about US $10 million. This DRAM makes use of Kingmax's proprietary TinyBGA packaging which allows the factory to pack more chips onto a single PCB, increasing overall memory capacity without having to resort to the more expensive high density memory chips. Kingmax Semiconductor was established over 15 years ago and last year alone the memory giant managed a turnover of about US $230 million, and this is not including the numbers from its sister company Kingmax Digital.

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