If you have been looking for a shiny new DDR5 RAM for your 12th generation build, then you probably haven’t had much success. In fact, in some markets, DDR5 is almost unavailable. We have talked with some suppliers who claim that the situation will improve from January, which gives us some optimism, but according to Micron, the limited supply of key components means that DDR5 will remain scarce until the second half of 2022 . Ouch.
These comments were made during the Micron conference call (via Find Alpha). Micron’s CEO Sanjay Mehrotra told investors and financial analysts, “As the shortage of non-memory components affects the ability of memory suppliers to build DDR5 modules, the demand for DDR5 products has significantly exceeded the supply. We expect these shortages to ease in 2022. DDR5 bit shipments will grow to meaningful levels in the second half of 2022.”
The root cause of insufficient power supply is not the memory itself, but the power management integrated circuit (PMIC). Before the introduction of DDR5, memory power management was traditionally handled by the motherboard. By transferring the power management to the module itself, the complexity of the motherboard is reduced, while the module benefits from a customized module-specific power supply with clearer signals and less noise.
Insufficient supply not only affects high-end DDR5 kits. The PMIC bottleneck is hurting the supply from bottom to top of the market. Even the basic DDR5-4800 kit is hard to find in inventory. Increasing output is not as simple as pressing a switch. In addition, it is reported that the PMIC production lead time is very long, exacerbating the shortage.
Fortunately, Intel’s 12th-generation processors support DDR4, because without it, Intel will face more frustrated buyers than it is now. As more affordable 12th-generation processors and B660 motherboards go on sale in early 2022, demand will only increase.
As we move further into 2022, we will all begin to look forward to the 13th generation and Zen 4 processors, so the demand will only increase. Let us hope that the supply will catch up by then. One day, you will be able to add a graphics card to your shopping cart or walk into a major street retailer and buy a set of DDR5. PC gamers are having a hard time now, and the bad news seems to be constantly accumulating.