According to Taiwanese sources Intel's latest defect in the ICH6 southbridge caused delaying production ramps of DDR2 chips. Several Taiwanese memory packaging and testing firms are seeing slowdowns in their DDR2-related orders.
They say that big DRAM makers now plan to first package and test their DDR2 chips in-house, rather than outsourcing these tasks to firms in Taiwan.
The slowdown will delay Taiwanese packaging and testing firms’ return on their investments in setting up DDR2 capacity, which is more expensive than DDR equipment, the sources commented.
With various problems remaining unsolved, no one is sure when DDR2 will replace DDR as the mainstream memory for PCs. In general, analysts and industry players expect the transition to occur next year, with Intel’s Grantsdale chipsets being a major driver.
According to DRAMeXchange, DDR2 will only account for 15% of the worldwide DRAM output by the end of this year, compared to 77.7% for DDR. However, the defect incident has already raised doubts about the transition going as planned.