NAND Flash


[News] After Memory Price Hike, Shortages Emerge in Some Products?

According to Economic Daily News’ report, after a prolonged period of economy downturn, the market has gradually become optimistic about memories. The effective production reduction by the top five memory manufacturers has led to an increase in memory prices.

This, in turn, has prompted downstream module manufacturers to actively increase their procurement efforts, resulting in shortages of certain products. Industry source indicates that manufacturers, including Samsung and Micron, are expressing intentions to raise prices.

Memory Manufacturers Keen to Raise Prices, Future Demand Monitoring Required

On December 7th, Western Digital had sent out price increase notifications to its customers. In the notification, Western Digital stated that the company would review hard drive product pricing weekly, anticipating a price increase in the first half of the coming year.

Regarding flash memory components, the company expects prices to cyclically increase over the next few quarters, with the cumulative increase likely surpassing 55% of current levels.

It’s worth noting that, at present, many in the industry are optimistic about the cessation and rebound of NAND chip prices. However, currently, suppliers are individually notifying customers of adjusted quotes. In this context, Western Digital has directly issued a price increase notice to customers, with an expected remarkable increase, marking the industry’s first comprehensive significant price hike.

Meanwhile, the latest financial reports of many companies in the memory industry chain show significant improvement compared to the previous period.

Samsung Electronics reported a net profit of KRW 5.5 trillion (approximately USD 4.17 billion) in Q3, transitioning from a loss to profitability. In early November, South Korean media Pulse, citing conversations with numerous insiders in the semiconductor industry, reported that as the Q4 inventory clearance phase nears its conclusion, Samsung is considering a sequential price increase of 20% for Q1 and Q2 of the coming year.

On December 11th, SSD controller chip manufacturer Phison announced its performance report for November, with consolidated revenue reaching NTD 5.407 billion (approximately USD 171.8 million), representing nearly a 5% monthly growth.

According to Phison, the total shipment volume of SSD controller chips continued to recover in November. Among them, the total shipment volume of PCIe SSD controller ICs is expected to grow by nearly 40% year-on-year, setting a new record for the same period in history. This further substantiates the news of a significant surge in the memory market.

In the latest financial report from memory module manufacturer ADATA, the company’s consolidated revenue for October was NTD 3.791 billion (approximately USD 120.4 million), reflecting a monthly increase of 13.43% and a year-on-year increase of 39.59%.

ADATA’s Chairman, Simon Chen, recently mentioned that they anticipate the completion of NAND Flash inventory clearance by the end of this year or the end of January next year. There is an expectation that both DRAM and NAND Flash may face supply shortages next year. 

In addition, DRAM manufacturer Nanya Technology observes a price increase in DDR5, while DDR4 prices have stabilized. There is an expectation of a slight improvement in DDR4 and DDR3 prices in the fourth quarter.

NAND Flash spot prices have surged since the end of September, driven by a collective production cut from suppliers. TrendForce analyst Avril Wu recently mentioned that Samsung’s production capacity has reduced by almost half from its peak, indicating that even cost-efficient manufacturers like Samsung can no longer endure losses. It is suggested that the average wafer price has likely passed its lowest point.

From the supply side, recent industry reports indicate that memory manufacturers are employing a “delaying tactic” in the supply of NAND Flash for the fourth quarter. Module manufacturers attempted to finalize orders for millions of chips in September, but memory manufacturers were reluctant to release the products, and even when they were willing, the quantities and prices were unsatisfactory. Meanwhile, Samsung is reportedly pausing quotations and shipments for NAND products.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the estimated average selling price increase for all NAND Flash products is expected to reach 13%, with an overall quarter-over-quarter revenue growth rate of over 20% in the NAND Flash industry.

It is worth noting that according to TrendForce analyst Avril Wu, with demand not showing explosive growth, the market will be focused on three key considerations. First, after production cuts, the decline in memory manufacturers inventory levels has begun, but it remains to be seen whether inventory can continue to shift towards buyers.

Second, it is anticipated that memory manufacturers production capacity will slowly increase, and if the market warms up, an early resumption of capacity could lead to supply-demand imbalances again. Lastly, whether end-demand can meet expectations for a recovery, with a particular focus on the sustained orders related to AI, will be crucial.

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(Photo credit: Samsung)

Please note that this article cites information from Weibo.


[News] Price Talks Every Week! Western Digital Notifies Customers of Weekly Price Adjustments

Memory prices continue to rise, with the world’s top five memory chip manufacturers, including Western Digital (WDC), notifying their distributors and consumer customers on December 5th that they will shorten the quoting period for their two major products – HDD and NAND Flash memory. Instead, they will adopt a pricing strategy of periodic adjustments to cope with the rapidly changing storage market.

Despite the traditional peak season of the tech industry nearing its end, memory industry insiders indicate that the off-season is not slack. WDC predicts a lively scenario of “weekly increases” in quotations, potentially prompting OEM customers to place orders earlier.

This trend is advantageous for raising both spot prices and contract prices for memory in the first quarter of the coming year.

The content of the letter sent by WDC to its channel customers is as follows:

“HDD – We will continue to review pricing on a weekly basis, with increases expected through the first half of next year.

Flash – We anticipate periodic price increases over the next few quarters, with the cumulative increase likely surpassing 55% of current levels.”

We have aligned our production capacity to the current demand environment, so our ability to respond to unplanned demand and orders is limited. Please ensure any changes to your orders are communicated as early as possible. Anticipate extended lead times for any unplanned demand.


According to industry sources in the memory sector, the letter from WDC primarily serves as a notice to OEM customers related to its two major product lines, HDD and NAND Flash. Due to major international memory manufacturers actively reducing production and controlling capacity to maintain prices, this has led to a significant rebound in NAND prices.

In recent times, both spot and contract prices have shown an upward trend, and HDD prices have been on the rise since the second half of this year.

Based on TrendForce’s data, WDC has benefited from the recovery in demand in the consumer electronics sector. The increase in NAND bit shipments in the third quarter has driven revenue upward, reaching USD 1.556 billion in the third quarter, showing a 13% quarterly increase.

The original plan for WDC was to merge with Japanese counterpart Kioxia, but after negotiations fell through in October, it was announced that WDC would be split into two publicly listed companies.

According to foreign reports, WDC has previously issued a statement announcing the spin-off of its flash memory business. Reportedly, the separated business will focus on memory for computers, devices, and portable hard drives, while the HDD business will concentrate on selling large-capacity memory to cloud data centers.

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(Photo credit: WDC)


[Insights] Weekly Price Update: DRAM Swang and NAND Remained Strong

Following the Singles’ Day Sale in China, demands are relatively cooled down. While for DRAM spot prices, market experiences fluctuations due to subdued demand and increased supply of used chips. In contrast, NAND spot price remains relatively strong under the ongoing reduction in supply.

DRAM Spot Market

Following the Singles’ Day promotional events in China, demand has cooled down compared with the previous few weeks. Looking at DRAM spot prices, prices for chips from suppliers have remained steady, but there has been an influx of used chips stripped from decommissioned modules. Spot prices of used DDR4 chips have now fallen to US$1.05, significantly lower than the spot price of around US$1.75 for new chips from suppliers. Spot prices of DDR5 chips, on the other hand, have remained relatively stable. However, Kingston has not raised module prices, making it difficult to sustain the upward momentum. The average spot price of mainstream chips (DDR4 1Gx8 2666MT/s) rose by 1.54% from US$1.683 last week to US$1.709 this week.

NAND Flash Spot Market

Demand from the spot market has become even more enervated after China’s Double 11 shopping festival when compared to that of several weeks ago. In terms of spot prices, the mainstream 512Gb wafer is supported by suppliers’ ongoing diminishment of wafer provision, and continues to march towards US$2.7-US$2.9 at a relatively robust tendency in comparison with DRAM spots, despite poor demand. 512Gb TLC wafer spots have risen by 11.54% this week, arriving at US$2.862.


[News] Chinese NAND Flash Firms Narrow Technology Gap with Korean Competitors to Two Years with Substantial Government Support

In recent years, the dynamics of the memory market have undergone significant changes, with South Korean memory giants Samsung and SK Hynix facing intense competition from Chinese firms. They are experiencing heightened competitive pressures, and the technological gap is steadily narrowing.

As per reports from South Korean media outlet Business Korea, insiders in the market have disclosed that with China increasing its support for the memory industry, after several years of development, the technological gap in NAND Flash with leading global enterprises has now narrowed to approximately two years. However, in the case of DRAM, the original technological gap of about five years is still maintained.

The report indicates that the primary reason for the shortened gap is that the threshold for NAND Flash technology is relatively lower, allowing for a faster catch-up speed, and this acceleration is continuously progressing, thereby further reducing the technological disparity.

China’s largest memory semiconductor company, YMTC (Yangtze Memory Technologies Co.), officially unveiled its fourth-generation 3D TLC NAND Flash memory, named X3-9070, based on the Xtacking 3.0 architecture, at the 2022 Flash Memory Summit (FMS).

YMTC has also taken the lead over Samsung and SK Hynix by achieving production of NAND Flash memory with a higher number of layers.

It is understood that in the year 2022 alone, investments from the Chinese government and state-owned investment funds amounted to approximately CNY 50 billion. The continuous and substantial funding is aimed at supporting development efforts, encompassing both technological catch-up and faster market penetration.

The report emphasizes that as semiconductor circuit miniaturization approaches its limits, China may seize another opportunity to narrow the technological gap, particularly in advanced packaging techniques.

China, being the world’s second-largest packaging technology market, boasts a more comprehensive ecosystem. Companies like JCET, Tongfu Microelectronics Co., and HT-Tech have all secured positions in the top ten semiconductor packaging enterprises globally, while no Korean companies made the list.

TrendForce pointed out that there is indeed a technological difference of about two years between South Korean memory giants and Chinese firms. YMTC has the research and development capabilities but is primarily hindered by the lack of key equipment for mass production. The subsequent developments depend on whether China can acquire crucial semiconductor equipment. If successful, YMTC may have the opportunity to transition to higher levels, such as 300 layers, and proceed to mass production.

(Photo credit: Samsung)


[News] DDR3 Memory Market Rebounds: Winbond, Etron, and ESMT Gain Momentum with Growing Orders

According to Economic Daily News’ report, the DDR3 market is experiencing a surge in prices, with an almost 10% short-term increase. Contract prices for this quarter are expected to rise by 10% to 15%, with a continued optimistic outlook for the first quarter of next year.

Market analysts point out that global leaders like Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron currently dominate standard DRAM and NAND Flash. Taiwan-based companies are unable to compete with them in chip production, except for module companies which have the potential to capitalize on the rebound of the DRAM and NAND market due to their advantage of low-cost inventory.

On the other hand, DDR3 production remains primarily under Taiwan’s purview, and the price surge is significant, providing substantial assistance to Taiwanese memory industry players.

Industry sources indicate that the main impetus behind the current memory market upswing stems from the continual reduction in production by major international manufacturers. With tightening capacities, they are strictly controlling shipments, displaying their determination to support the price increases.

Besides, companies like Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron are actively venturing into AI applications, shifting their main capacity to produce high-bandwidth memory, DDR5, and other advanced areas. This shift has created room in the DDR3 market. Recent replenishment of inventories on the client end, along with a surge in orders for consumer electronics, has been witnessed.

TrendForce indicated that DDR3 prices have been steadily rising since September. The cumulative increase for DDR3 4Gb has reached nearly 10%, while DDR3 2Gb has shown a cumulative rise of 14%; regarding contract prices, TrendForce expects a robust increase of 10% to 15% for this quarter, with a continued strength forecasted for the first quarter of next year, likely to rise another 5% to 10%.

DDR3-related companies are optimistic about market developments. Etron believes that with inventory digestion coming to an end, “the cyclical bottom is over,” and they are gradually heading towards the dawn of recovery. They hold a positive outlook for significant growth in the global DRAM market next year.

ESMT, on the other hand, continues to advance the progress of their in-house products. They are continuously developing new products in DRAM, Flash, and MCP, expanding into different markets. This includes accelerating the development of 19-nanometer DRAM, achieving mass production of 28-nanometer NAND Flash, and researching niche memory products for automotive applications.

Winbond’s General Manager, Pei-Ming Chen, points out that their operations for this quarter will be better than the third quarter and they have a positive view of the DRAM market for next year.

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(Photo credit: Unsplash)

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