[News] Low-Price SSDs Disappearing? Three Major Manufacturers Rumored to Increase Prices by 50%

Low-price SSDs (Solid-state drives) may have become a thing of the past in 2024. The three major memory manufacturers are reportedly pushing up the prices of NAND Flash, leading to rumors of a 50% increase in prices for all SSDs as well. The successive hikes in NAND Flash prices by suppliers are already beginning to impact the end market.

Industry sources cited by ctee have indicated that at the beginning of 2024, there is a continuous stream of news regarding price increases for memory products. However, as of now, new transaction prices have not been observed, and the situation is being closely monitored.

Furthermore, sources cited by ctee also stipulate that, since reaching its lowest point in August 2023, NAND Flash prices have experienced a cumulative increase of approximately 40% to 90%.

Previously, significant losses in NAND Flash led manufacturers to actively reduce production and increase quotes. Currently, manufacturers have yet returned to a break-even condition. It is widely anticipated within the industry that the upward trend in NAND Flash prices will persist into the first quarter of 2024. The aim is to promptly raise prices and achieve a break-even point.

According to TrendForce’s previous estimates, the average quarterly increase in prices for Mobile DRAM and NAND Flash (eMMC/UFS) in the first quarter of 2024 is expected to expand to a range of 18% to 23%. Additionally, it is not ruled out that in a market characterized by limited competition or in situations where brand customers panic and engage in price chasing, the increase in prices could further escalate.

The upward trend in NAND prices has also led to an increase in the prices of storage products in the consumer end market. According to the latest information from the supply chain in China cited by the media outlet mydrivers, it’s reported that SSD products are experiencing their first price hike in nine quarters and manufacturers are planning to continue requesting price increases after 2024 Q1.

An industry source suggests that NAND manufacturers, facing losses, have been actively adjusting prices. Since these manufacturers also produce SSDs for their own brands, their own brands need to follow suit in price increases, potentially influencing the entire market.

Recent rumors have also claimed that the SSDs from memory manufacturers are set to increase by 50%, with some sources suggesting at least a 30% hike. Whether this is an tentative price adjustment or a market-driven price surge prompted by demand remains to be closely observed.

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(Photo credit: Samsung)

Please note that this article cites information from ctee


[News] Samsung’s and SK Hynix’s Potential Expansion Plans Raise Concerns – Major Investments Anticipated Next Year

Amid a gradual recovery in the memory market, South Korean memory giants Samsung and SK Hynix are reportedly set to expand their equipment investments significantly next year.

Samsung aims for a 25% increase in investment, while SK Hynix plans to more than double its investment compared to this year, concurrently increasing production capacity, sparking industry attention.

According to South Korean media outlet ETNEWS, both Samsung and SK Hynix are planning to boost semiconductor equipment investments in 2024. Samsung’s investment is estimated at around KRW 27 trillion (approximately USD 20.78 billion), representing a 25% growth, while SK Hynix plans an investment of around KRW 5.3 trillion (approximately USD 4.07 billion), signaling a 100% increase from this year’s investment.

As ETNEWS’ report revealed, in addition to increasing equipment investment, Samsung and SK Hynix have also raised their production capacity targets for 2024. Samsung plans to expand both DRAM and NAND Flash production by approximately 24%, while SK Hynix aims to elevate DRAM output to levels seen by the end of 2022.

Looking at market share, according to TrendForce’s released data, in terms of third-quarter revenue figures, Samsung holds approximately 38.9% market share in DRAM, while SK Hynix stands at 34.3%.

In the NAND segment, Samsung holds approximately 31.4% market share, while SK Hynix stands at 20.2%.

Market concerns arise as the memory industry, which has recently seen relief from the long-standing oversupply pressure due to major manufacturers reducing production, faces the possibility of disruption once again. Amid the rebound in prices, the significant investments planned by the two major South Korean companies are causing apprehension that the memory industry may face new challenges.

Memory industry sources believe that despite Samsung and SK Hynix’s plans to increase semiconductor equipment investment and boost production capacity in 2024, the tool-in still take time. Improving production capacity utilization is not an instantaneous process.

Furthermore, there is a general consensus in the industry that several AI-related applications in the future will require large-capacity memory support. For instance, the expected 3% growth in global smartphone shipments (based on TrendForce’s report) next year is anticipated to contribute to the expansion of demand in the high-value memory market.

TrendForce also pointed out that recent news about memory manufacturers expanding investment and increasing production capacity is primarily driven by the growing demand in the HBM market, rather than capacity expansion for all products.

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(Photo credit: Samsung)

Please note that this article cites information from ETNEWS


[News] Sino-US Memory Joint Venture, Longsys and Kingston Unite for High-End Embedded Solutions

On November 27, Kingston, the global leader in memory modules, and Longsys, acclaimed as key memory module maker in China, jointly announced the establishment of a new joint venture company in China. This strategic move aligns with the resurgence in the memory market, with Kingston taking the lead to step into the Chinese market, reported by UDN News.

As per the collaborative plans between Kingston and Longsys, the joint venture will be established in China, with Kingston holding a 51% stake and Longsys holding 49%. The focus is on expanding the Chinese market together. According to Longsys’ press release, the newly formed joint venture will operate independently, specializing in supplying embedded memory products to the Chinese market. Longsys will oversee product development and technical support, while Kingston will manage procurement and brand-related needs. The capital amount of the new company has not been disclosed by either Kingston or Longsys.

Founded in 1987 and headquartered in California, USA, Kingston is a globally renowned memory module product manufacturer. In 2022, it secured the top position in global memory module and solid-state drive module suppliers. Besides, it leads in the embedded storage market share and holds a dominant position as a key supplier to China’s Tier 1 OEM.

On the other hand, Longsys, established in 1999 and headquartered in Shenzhen, China, has emerged as a key player in the industry. In recent years, it acquired competitors such as Lexar in the United States and Smart Modular in Brazil. Longsys primarily focuses on NAND-related applications and is currently listed on the ChiNext board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

In previous press release, TrendForce once mentioned that facing a volatile market in recent years, Chinese homegrown SSD channels are also actively advancing supply chain configurations. Aiming to step beyond China and into international waters, Chinese companies like Longsys is leading the charge by acquiring shares in Licheng Suzhou and Smart Modular to strengthen downstream module production capacity.

Regarding this joint venture, industry source anticipate that the partnership between Kingston and Longsys, with a focus on embedded storage products and NAND-related applications, will drive substantial demand for NAND chip control ICs.

Please note that this article cites information from UDN News

(Image: Longsys)

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NAND Flash Spot Prices Surge, DRAM Demand Stalls, Spot Prices Remain Volatile in Late September

DRAM Spot Market

In the spot market, prices have been rising noticeably in the recent period, and demand has also rebounded marginally. Also, because the supply of rebelled used chips has shrunk slightly, price hikes have been most significant for chips belonging to the bottom of the price range. On the other hand, spot buyers have become somewhat hesitant in the past two or so days because the price hikes are too rapid. They are now less willing to accept higher prices than before. Since the overall demand for DRAM products has yet to turn around, spot prices are expected to continue to fluctuate. The average spot price of the mainstream chips (i.e., DDR4 1Gx8 2666MT/s) rose by 0.13% from US$1.498 last week to US$1.500 this week.

NAND Flash Spot Market

A price increase is seen among finished products, including memory cards, USB flash drives, and eMMC, from the spot market recently due to the diminished supply of wafers, which resulted in a significant rebound in spot quotations for NAND Flash. With that being said, buyers are not all that willing to follow up with the corresponding prices that had a significant jump within a short period and have slightly stagnated in procurement. 512Gb TLC wafer spots have climbed at 3.96% this week, arriving at US$1.757.


[News] SK Hynix Sets Milestone with 321-Layer NAND Flash Demonstration

SK Hynix, a semiconductor leader, announced a significant breakthrough in NAND flash technology on August 9 at the Flash Memory Summit in California. They introduced a pioneering 321-layer 1Tb TLC 4D NAND flash memory, marking a notable advancement in NAND capabilities.

As the first company in the industry to surpass 300 layers in NAND development, SK Hynix plans to refine the 321-layer NAND for mass production by mid-2025. This leap builds upon their expertise gained from 238-layer NAND production, showcasing their commitment to pushing technological boundaries.

The efficiency of the 321-layer NAND is 59% higher than its 238-layer predecessor, attributed to enhanced data storage unit stacking. This translates to increased storage capacity and improved chip output per wafer.

In response to the growing demand for high-performance memory solutions in the AI market, SK Hynix unveiled next-gen NAND products, including PCIe 5-equipped enterprise SSDs and UFS 4.0 solutions, catering to the increasing need for advanced storage.

SK Hynix’s dedication to innovation is further emphasized by its ongoing development of PCI 6.0 and UFS 5.0 products, solidifying its market leadership position. Meanwhile, VP of SK Hynix NAND Flash Development, affirmed their commitment to leading the NAND technology domain with the development of fifth-gen 321-layer 4D NAND, tailored to the AI era.


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