The unbearable lightness of DRAM

128Mb SDRAM chips dip below $5

Once upon a time the 64Mb DRAM chip - add eight and you get the DIMM module you buy in a shop - supplied the definitive price benchmark for the memory industry. Now, it's the turn of its big brother, the 128Mb, to perform the same duty.

And what do the benchmarks tell us today? Well, if you're a memory maker, your problems ain't going away in a hurry, and if you're a system builder or memory buyer of any description - hurrah!

For 128Mb SDRAM chips have dipped below the $5 mark for the first time, Korea's Maeil Business Newspaper (by way of Asiabiztech) reports.

PC-133 type 128Mb SDRAMs dropped 0.99 per cent to between $5 and $5.30 each, with PC-100 SDRAMs slipping 2 per cent to between $4.90 and $5.90 per chip, according to the Maeil - although it does not say when the prices dropped.

Apparently, the $5 level for 128Mb SDRAM had been deemed as the psychological barrier for investors, the Maeil says. We can only guess what this means in practice.

The old benchmark, 64Mb DRAMs, took their worst hammering so far this year, dropping to $2.55 to $2.70 per chip for PC-133 DRAMs, and $2.45 to $2.60 for PC-100 chips. Just a month ago 64Mb DRAMs slipped under $3 - in the first week of 2001 the PC-100 SDRAM chips fell as much as 2.68 per cent to $2.90.

Analysts and chipmakers do not expect the DRAM market to rebound until the second half of this year. ®

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