) -- PC memory prices are starting to rise, offering a possible sign of stability after a two-year slump.
Standard DRAM memory chips used in desktop and notebook computers
rose 8.5% in the past three weeks
, according to Taiwanese chip exchange reports. The news comes a day after Morgan Stanley analyst Keon Han wrote in a research note that the
PC sales started a steep decline in 2007 as giants like
saw waning demand among consumers and businesses for new machines. The slowdown rippled through the supply chain, causing major pileups of inventory, particularly among DRAM chipmakers like
After a year of steep production cuts, some players say they are seeing new orders from PC makers.
"The semiconductor sector is now performing better than our own expectations because of government help," said Samsung's chip chief, Kwon Oh-hyun, Tuesday at a Taipei trade show, according to a
Kwon said he was
and expected to know more about the health of the industry after Thanksgiving. The November holiday kicks off the holiday buying season, and it's typically a time when consumers shop for big-ticket items like computers.
He also suggested that Samsung would increase production of the faster, more advanced DDR3 memory chips in response to shortages.
New processor chips from
, along with the new
Windows 7 operating system promise to deliver a new crop of PCs in the fourth quarter. The
however, may not be enough to persuade consumers to trade in their current gear.
--Written by Scott Moritz in New York