Skyrocketing DRAM prices potentially open the door for startup Chinese competitors.
In 2017, DRAM bit volume growth was 20%, half the 40% rate of increase registered in 2016. For 2018, each of the three major DRAM producers (e.g., Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron) have stated that they expect DRAM bit volume growth to once again be about 20%. However, as shown in Figure 1, monthly year-over-year DRAM bit volume growth averaged only 13% over the nine-month period of May 2017 through January 2018.
Figure 1 also plots the monthly price-per-Gb of DRAM from January of 2017 through January of 2018. As shown, the DRAM price-per-Gb has been on a steep rise, with prices being 47% higher in January 2018 as compared to one year earlier in January 2017. There is little doubt that electronic system manufacturers are currently scrambling to adjust and adapt to the skyrocketing cost of memory.