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One of the premier online exchanges for dynamic random access memory, DRAMeXchange, initiated Monday coverage of spot-prices for DDR2 SDRAM, which may indicate that the new type of memory is becoming more and more popular on the market place.

Average spot price of 256Mb DDR2 memory chip at 400MHz and 533MHz was $4.95 and $5.51, respectively, on Monday. Common cost of 512Mb DDR2 device at 400MHz and 533MHz today was $10.83 and $11.13, respectively, today. 512Mb DDR chip at 333MHz cost $9.06 in average, 256Mb DDR device at 400MHz cost approximately $4.07 on Monday at DRAMeXchange, which is lower compared to levels registered in late Spring and Summer, 2004.

DDR2 memory products utilize FBGA memory chips for better stability, thermal efficiency, enhanced scalability and better overclockability. Additionally, DDR2 components themselves have some micro-architectural changes from the original DDR specs, such as, Off-Chip Driver calibration (OCD), On-Die Termination (ODT) as well as larger 4-bit prefetch, additive latency, and enhanced registers.

The main advantage of DDR2 SDRAM is strong chip yield at relatively high clock-speeds of 500MHz and above, however, DDR2 memory has higher latencies compared to DDR and thus does not provide serious performance benefits compared to DDR at current frequencies amid significant price increase over DDR, or do not provide any advantage at all.

Due to relatively high cost of DDR2 memory modules compared to DDR DIMMs, the DDR2 got lukewarm welcome from the mainstream market. Actual current market share of DDR2 memory is unclear, but it is believed that it is not large.

Spot memory market is typically used by traders and small memory module makers. Usually only popular products are sold at spot markets.

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