Server DRAM module prices continue to soar

If you've been holding off on adding more memory to your servers expecting the prices to fall, you're out of luck, as prices continue to rise.

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DRAM prices in 2017 have been climbing mercilessly, with the average contract price of server DRAM modules rising sequentially by nearly 40 percent and 10 percent respectively for the first and second quarter of 2017 due to tight supply, reports DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce.

And those shortages are showing no signs of easing off anytime soon.

And prices are still on the up, with DRAMeXchange predicting that during the third quarter, the average contract price of 32-gigabyte server DRAM modules for first-tier customers will hit around $260, with the average contract price of similar modules for second-tier customers rising even higher.

The latest forecast by DRAMeXchange suggests that the average sequential price increase for server DRAM modules in the contract market for the third quarter will be in the range between 3 percent and 8 percent.

According to DRAMeXchange analyst Mark Liu, server DRAM modules data transfer bandwidths are increasing, up from 2133MHz and 2400MHz to 2666MHz. And on the capacity front, 32-gigabyte modules are now becoming mainstream.

"Going into the second half of 2017, the growth in the memory content per box for servers and the increase in the market penetration of 32-gigabyte product lines are expected to be the main demand drivers," said DRAMeXchange analyst Mark Liu.

DRAMeXchange projects that the penetration of 32G capacity option in the total server DRAM module shipments will surpass 60 percent by the end of 2017.

The report also expects global server shipments in the second half of 2017 will grow by around 10 percent compared with the first half of the year, with the top three server vendor spots still being held by HPE, Dell and Lenovo, which have a combined global market share of about 40 percent. Huawei is expected to have the highest estimated year-on-year shipment growth for 2017 at almost 30 percent, with Sugon and Inspur expected to share second place for shipment growth with year-on-year grow rates of both server makers estimated at 15 percent.

The market penetration of high-capacity modules such as 32-gigabyte RDIMMs and 64-gigabyte LRDIMMs is expected to grow with the arrival of Intel's new Purley server platform in the first quarter of 2018.

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