Certain undisclosed sources, which are presumably from Taiwan-based makers of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), accused Samsung Electronics, the No. 1 maker of memory in the world, of selling memory for low-end graphics cards below the production cost.
Samsung reportedly sells its 256Mb GDDR2 memory chips for $0.50, whereas, according to “other DRAM makers”, typical costs for this type of GDDR2 memory chip, from the wafer to back-end production, would usually be $1.40, reports DigiTimes web-site. It is unclear whether Samsung dumps only low-end GDDR2 memory chips, or also sells certain GDDR3 and GDDR4 memory at prices below market average and, perhaps, below production costs of different manufacturers.
Memory for graphics cards has not yet become a commodity product and many manufacturers of GDDR have relatively good profit margins on it. Therefore, slowdown of its sales may hurt financial performance of various DRAM manufacturers.
Typically low-end 256Mb GDDR2 memory chips are used for very inexpensive graphics cards. Currently only graphics cards that cost well-below $100, such as ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro or ATI Radeon X1600-series as well as analogues from Nvidia, use such memory chips. With Chinese New Year as well as slow Q1 approaching, the demand for such graphics boards may raise soon.
The aforementioned memory producers deserved to remain anonymous. Samsung Electronics did not comment on the news-story.