This is what I have to say about the production capacities. As for the architectures, I have to mention Elpida’s announcement in the end of August that they have completed the development of DDR3 SDRAM, following in the footsteps of Samsung and Infineon. Their 1333MHz 512Mbit chip samples should be should be shipped to the customers by the end of the year. Note that this is still happening even though JEDEC is planning to finalize and approve the DDR3 standard (which is expected to be 1067MHz only, by the way) only by 2007. It looks like the industry will be ready for transition to DDR3 in record-breaking short period of time during the entire RAM history. The only question that still remains unanswered is whether the users will be ready to accept DDR3 by 2007 and whether the demand will be there at all…
You have a life example in front of you: DDR2 has come into this market a long time ago, but it is moving forward not as fast as we have expected. Take, for instance, Samsung. They managed to go beyond their key threshold only last month: the share of DDR2 products has finally exceeded the share of DDR1 products. ProMOS is not going to be that far before the beginning of next year. I would suggest taking the DRAM Exchange estimates as a reference here: they predicted that in H1 2005 the DDR2 share was only 30% of the entire DRAM market.
Well, it looks like these are all the events for this moment. I only have to say a few words about the prices. The situation with the prices appeared no exception in the entire lazy August flow. There were no surprises here: the prices steadily and gradually dropped from $2.68 down to $2.46 for a 256Mbit DDR400 chip. By the way, speaking about the price difference between the DDR and DDR2 memory modules in August, I should say that it was only 2-5% and kept growing smaller, so that it should completely disappear in September, as experts say.
It is quite hard too make any definite forecasts these days. On the one hand, the manufacturers keep expanding their production capacities very actively, as I have already said. On the other hand, the growing demand during the back-to-school season in September will be able to eat up most of volumes. And then there is Christmas holiday season right around the corner. Nevertheless, there will hardly be any clear tendency in September. As for October-November time frame, I wouldn’t make any definite forecasts at this point.