DDR5 RAM shortage due to Limited “Non-Memory” Parts

DDR5 RAM shortage up to mid-2022.

The entire technological world is facing a shortage of various components. While there is a scarcity of chips in the PC market, the lack of DDR5 DRAM may make the situation more worst. Micron reported the DDR5 RAM shortage up to mid-2022.

DDR5 RAM was recently introduced by Intel in its 12th Gen Alder Lake. However, this does not mean that DDR4 standard RAM modules are outdated. Intel added the support of DDR4 in Alder Lake, but the motherboard manufacturer will decide which module to use. Probably, cheaper motherboards will use DDR4 slots.

DDR5 RAM shortage reported
DDR5 memory module

DDR5 RAM shortage due to PMICs and VRMs

Here, Micron’s CEO, Sanjay Mehrotra, said – “Across the PC industry, demand for DDR5 products is significantly exceeding supply due to non-memory component shortages impacting memory suppliers’ ability to build DDR5 modules”.

Here, Micron has confirmed that the DDR5 RAM production is less than the demand due to components other than the memory chip. The new DDR5 RAM stick has PMIC (Power Management IC) and VRM (Voltage Regulating Modules) in the module itself. Before this, up to DDR4, the PMIC and VRM for RAM were located in the motherboard.

DDR5 Module PMIC and VRM
DDR5 Module PMIC and VRM

For DDR5 memory production, DRAM companies have to purchase PMICs and VRMs, for the modules. Because of this, the lack of any of these components leads to delays in the production of RAM modules.

Already the price of the new DDR5 memory is higher compared to DDR4. And that’s not surprising as early adoption of new technology always costs more, but DDR5 RAM shortages would add some extra premium. Ramping up the production will take time and the shortage will start to ease from the second half of 2022.

Although DDR4 supported motherboards will hit the market later. So low-budget PC builders can choose between two RAM types (DDR5 or DDR4). Keep in mind that once you select a DDR4 motherboard, you can not use DDR5 modules on it. Similarly, a motherboard with DDR5 RAM slots does not support DDR4 RAM modules. So, yes, this will restrict you from future DDR5 upgrades.

Overall, the shortage or price expensiveness of DDR5 DRAM can cause a delay in the adoption rate. Intel’s 12th gen Alder Lake is a successful launch. So currently, the demand for Alder Lake means the requirement of DDR5 memory.

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