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In a nutshell: As PC gamers, we know current sad state of the graphics card market, but DRAM memory makers are having problems, too. Micron's CEO has warned that a "severe shortage" of supply will worsen throughout the year, with prices rising as a result.
As reported by The Register, Micron chief Sanjay Mehrotra told investors during an earnings conference call: "As a result of the strong demand and limited supply, the DRAM market is currently facing a severe undersupply, which is causing DRAM prices to increase rapidly. We see the DRAM market tightening further through the year."
As online life becomes the norm, demand from data center, cloud, and PC customers is going through the roof, and Micron is struggling to fill all the orders.
"[Our inventory is] pretty lean at this point. I mean all the inventory that you're seeing is either WIP or raw materials. There is a bit of finished goods, but it's [not] just the amount of finished goods we need to stage to meet the customer demand," Zisner added.
DRAM manufacturers revenue share worldwide. Credit: statista
Exacerbating an already difficult situation is Taiwan's worst drought in 56 years. The country previously said its semiconductor industry had enough water to last until May, but it recently introduced further water restrictions, including at two industrial parks. While Micron's production has not yet been affected, the company has had to obtain water from different sources—it's already bringing water in via tracks—and increase conservation efforts. Mehrotra calls this a "developing situation," suggesting things could get worse before they get better.
With graphics cards, memory, and pretty much every other piece of hardware in short supply and more expensive than usual, it really is the worst time to build a PC. You could always buy a pre-built model, but even some of those are shipping without GPUs.