DRAM production is being slowed because manufactures can't get their paws on some key technology.
According to Digitimes, ASML is taking so long to built its latest immersion system, the NXT:1950i, some Taiwan-based DRAM makers to switch to alternative products. The lead time for the gear has been extended to a year, which is a jolly long time in the chip industry. Elpida Memory's DRAM partners, which include Powerchip, Rexchip and ProMOS Technologies, have had to buy ASML's older-generation immersion scanners due to a longer wait.
While the older gear is cheaper than the NXT ones, they can only provide single-exposure manufacturing down to 38nm. If they have a chance of making 30nm-class products, DRAM makers will still need to upgrade their immersion equipment.
Nanya and Inotera have already got their NXT scanners from ASML, which will help them migrate to 30nm ahead of other Taiwan-based DRAM makers, but ASML had 38 NXT units in backlog at the end of the quarter.