If you’ve been looking for a sparkling new pair of DDR5 RAM to go with your 12th Gen setup, you probably haven’t had much luck. In fact, DDR5 has been virtually unavailable in several areas. We spoke with several suppliers who claimed the situation will improve starting in January, which gave us some hope, but Micron claims that due to limited quantities of crucial components, DDR5 will remain tight until the second half of 2022.
During a Micron earnings call, the statements were made (via SeekingAlpha). Sanjay Mehrotra, the CEO of Micron, informed investors and financial analysts that “Due to non-memory component shortages affecting memory suppliers’ capacity to create DDR5 modules, demand for DDR5 products is far surpassing supply. These shortages are expected to ease through 2022, allowing DDR5 bit shipments to reach important levels in the second part of calendar 2022.”
Power management integrated circuits, not the memory, are to blame for the low supply (PMICs). Memory power management was generally handled by the motherboard prior to the advent of DDR5. The complexity of the motherboard is minimized by transferring power management to the modules, while the modules benefit from a customized module-specific power supply with cleaner signals and lower noise.
High-end DDR5 kits aren’t the only ones suffering from a lack of supply. Supply is being harmed by the PMIC backlog from the bottom to the top of the market. Even basic DDR5-4800 kits are difficult to come by. Increasing output isn’t as easy as turning a knob. Furthermore, PMIC production lead times have been reported to be extremely long, worsening the shortfall.