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December 25, 2009

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Memory chips to be in short supply

MEMORY chips for computers are likely to be in short supply by the second half of next year as consumers demand more capacity and companies embark on a delayed drive to replace PCs, industry tracker DRAMeXchange believes.

Prices for DRAM chips, the most common type of computer memory, have stabilized over the past two months after rising for most of the year as recession-struck chip makers slashed capacity and capital spending, causing shortages.

DRAMeXchange forecast yesterday that shipments of PCs would rise 13 percent next year, driven by notebooks, with 22.5 percent growth to 160 million units, and pared-down netbooks, set to rise 22 percent to 35 million units.

"DRAM will likely face a serious shortage in 2010 triggered by hot PC sales," DRAMeXchange said. "The DRAM price decline will likely be eased in 2010. That is, DRAM vendors will have a great opportunity to remain in profit for the whole year."

Top United States memory chip maker Micron yesterday delivered its first quarterly profit in nearly three years as rising prices lifted sales.

DRAMeXchange forecasts that 2010 capital expenditure by DRAM vendors would rise 80 percent from this year's record low to US$7.85 billion.



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