Tech giant Samsung expects overall profits to continue into Q4 despite a noted glut on the market for memory components used in cryptocurrency mining, among other uses. This comes after a collapse in demand for crypto-specific mining gear earlier this year, as prices for crypto-assets plunged.
Prices for Dynamic Random Access Memory, or DRAM, a key component in the production of graphics cards, have probably peaked, says a source quoted by the Financial Times (FT) of London. Prices for DRAM have already risen 48% from the start of the year and may rise further in Q3, but are expected to fall starting in Q4.
Samsung is expected to cut production of the chips to stabilize any fall in price. Micron, the large US manufacturer of DRAM chips, faced a “plunge” in its stock price in Q3 as it struggled to move its DRAM stock.
Nvidia, known for manufacturing graphics cards, has seen record profits despite declining demand for cryptocurrency miners. A fifth of Nvidia’s revenue now comes from producing “modified graphics chips” for data centers, which support the use of AI to process voice and facial recognition data, according to Bloomberg.
“China imports more semiconductors than crude oil”
It is not perfectly clear how much this general decline in DRAM prices has to do with the overall weak demand for graphics card. A Chinese official recently intimated that the DRAM market, which is “highly concentrated” between two Korean companies (Samsung and SK Hynix) and one American company (Micron), could be suffering from “price fixing”.
China, aspiring in future to be DRAM self-sufficient, is now heavily dependant upon imports to satisfy its DRAM need. Although Chinese production of the chips has started to pick up, “their production capacities are not high, they are not expected to become viable competitors for [foreign companies] in terms of volumes, production efficiencies, or performance any time soon.”