Sunday, December 26, 2010

DRAM Prices Will Fall in 2011

If you are planning RAM (memory) upgrades for your computer wait until the second half of 2011 to buy. Prices will be dropping drastically.

There are four phases in the semiconductor cycle. During a shortage, prices stabilize and manufacturers become profitable. They invest these profits in wafer fabs, avoiding steep taxes on retained earnings. Invariably, this level of investment is too high and results in an oversupply two years after the company’s original commitment to add capacity. This oversupply drives prices into a collapse, evaporating profits.

As long as manufacturers are unprofitable, they can’t expand production to meet the needs of a steadily growing market. This creates a shortage a couple of years later, and the market enters another period of stable prices and profits.
So the reason the market is so unsteady is taxes. Just another entry in "the power to tax is the power to destroy" file. The smart investor takes advantage of these known cycles - when he can.

1 comment:

LarryD said...

Cycles of over/under capacity are typical to many industries, shipping is the classical example. They all suffer because capacity increases take years, think feedback with lag. The taxes most likely amplify the effect. Of course, in theory, they could pay out dividends instead of overbuilding, but once the cycling has started, the last guy to finish building capacity after demand is tight, loses.