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Due to limited availability and, consequently, high price-point, 1Gb memory chips are not in high demand among makers of memory modules. As a result, systems with 4GB of memory will be pretty rare in 2007 and are more likely to get more or less mainstream in 2008. The question is whether transition to DDR3 that begins this year has its influence on the amount of memory per system.

“1Gbit DDR2 chips are currently traded in very low volume in the spot and contract markets, representing less than 1% of trading volumes,” Joyce Yang, DRAMeXchange industry research division director, was quoted as saying by DigiTimes web-site.

1Gb memory chips are used to make 2GB memory modules and their low availability means tight supply of 2GB unbuffered dual inline memory modules (DIMMs) for desktops and workstations. As a result, the vast majority of DIMM producers and suppliers are concentrated to make 1GB modules and 2GB dual-channel kits.

The reason for limited supply of 1Gb DDR2 chips is their relatively large die size on current production nodes and it will take some time before chipmakers reach world class yields on new-generation process technologies, such as 70nm fabrication process.

However, it should be considered that this year chipset designers, such as Intel Corp. and Silicon Integrated Systems Corp., are set to start to ramp up core-logic sets that support DDR3 memory. Initially new memory standards are sold at higher price compared to previous-generation standard memory, which may catalyze computer makers to install 2GB of high-speed DDR3 instead of 4GB of lower-speed DDR2, which will again put systems with 4GB of memory forward.

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