DRAM spot pricing edges up, NAND slides

Stamford, Conn. — Spot pricing for both DDR2 and DDR3 devices edged higher last week driven by speculative buying, while spot pricing for NAND devices slipped, according to Gartner Inc.

Gartner researchers say this increase will not likely hold unless orders pick up. Average spot pricing across all densities and technologies was up 1.5 percent compared with the previous week, settling at $2.43 on a 1-Gb equivalent basis.


On the flip side, recent NAND spot prices fell across nearly all device types, led by the 32-Gb part. Gartner says the 32-Gb part’s low range of pricing dipped below $5 for the first time ever and is considerably below current contract prices.

Gartner’s preliminary assessment of the supply side shows an increase in supply, which it attributes to greater volumes of 3-bits-per-cell technology. The market research firm projects 77 percent bit growth in 2010 and 81 percent in 2011.

Currently, 3-bits-per-cell NAND is relegated to only the flash card and USB flash drive markets, which have proved to be less resilient to absorb surges in supply than the MLC market, which is driven by handsets and media tablets, said Gartner.


As a result, Gartner expects the spot market to continue to be volatile with a wide price gap between 32 Gb and higher densities.