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Tech is reportedly going to get much more expensive as silicon costs rise

Over the last year, we have seen plenty of price hikes in the tech world. A DRAM and NAND shortage has caused SSD and RAM prices to jump, but it looks like silicon prices are also set to rise over the next few years, which will have further reaching effects on chips across the board.

According to a report from Korean-based news outlet, ETNews, SUMCO, a Japanese silicon wafer manufacturer responsible for over 60 percent of the world’s supply, is planning on increasing prices by 20 percent in 2018. Then, another price increase is supposed to take place in 2019.

A quote from SUMCO CEO, Hashimoto Mayuki can be found in the report, in which he confirms the plans to raise prices. Silicon wafers are used widely in the tech world as the basis for DRAM, NAND flash, CPUs and GPUs. With demand increasing, prices are also going to increase.

SUMCO estimates that global wafer demands will rise to 6.6 million units a month by 2020. Given that the manufacturers can only deliver so much, demand will continue to outstrip supply, leading to price hikes.

KitGuru Says: This isn’t great news for consumers, though we won’t see the long-term effects this will have on pricing until 2018 and beyond. Silicon wafer pricing already rose by 20 percent in 2016, but if manufacturers jack up the prices even more, then being a tech enthusiast is going to get very difficult for most. 

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  • Redart Webbski


  • Nikolas Karampelas

    The cost of making a new pc is getting up more and more… miners take our cards, smartphones take our memories, step up, make the custom pc great again 😛

  • Patrick Proctor

    If they’re going to raise prices, competition will just move in. It’s not like Japan has the golden ticket for growing silicon crystals and slicing wafers off.

  • Доброе Зло

    True story. Now to find out if it is possible to kill your gamer self because i will have to sell my house to get a decent pc.

  • jt AJ

    intel should go back to dram business again, theres enough profit for now

  • Or be forced to get a… *shudders*

  • Zealot

    Yay for monopolies! Demand increases to instead of matching the supply, let’s increase prices two years in a row! Woohoo!

    All I see is market forces making efforts to prevent 4K gaming becoming mainstream on the PC. But why is that? Is it because they think the market will stagnate, with people being more than happy with settling with 4K and won’t care about what comes next? Is it to prevent piracy of 4K movies from becoming prevalent? Both? Something doesn’t add up.

  • Joel F

    “Over 90% of the Earth’s crust is composed of silicate minerals, making silicon the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (about 28% by mass) after oxygen.”

    But sure, we are all going to believe some crisis has made chips more expensive. Riiiiiiight.

  • Joel F

    Nikolas, my brother, very well said! I’m ready to pour buckets of water on those stupid miners.

  • Joel F

    Ouch! 😉

  • Joel F

    Alright folks, it’s time to Kickstart a new wafer factory. Are we in?

  • Nikolas Karampelas

    nuh, console prices will go up too, they are repurposed PCs now anyway, or at least they will not fall as quickly as they did in older generations.

  • Nikolas Karampelas

    man I was looking to pick parts for a friend and with 1000 euro budget we couldn’t go past a radeon 570 😐 (sure we put the rest of the system in a way to hold for a long time but we dedicated like 250e for the GPU, those money used to be the top tier of mid range, not the entry of the mid range cards) not to mention availability.
    I was also looking to replace my radeon 7850 and I cound’t afford beyond a 560 (always go for the ~200e range) and checking on the benchmarks it doesn’t seem like it worth this replacement at the moment, it could make more sense if I could get a 570 at this price point.