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keyword:Ben Yeh16 result(s)

Press Releases
NAND Flash Wafer Prices Stabilize Due to High SSD Demand from PC OEMs, Says TrendForce

2021/02/05

Semiconductors

NAND Flash demand continues to rise as strong sales of notebook (laptop) computers spur PC OEMs to place additional orders for client SSDs, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations Also, the supply-side inventory for NAND Flash memory has already fallen considerably due to the aggressive stock-up activities of some smartphone brands With customers in the data center segment expected to ramp up procurement in 2Q21, NAND Flash suppliers have decided to scale back the supply of NAND Flash wafers Compared with other product categories, wafers have a lower gross margin As a result of these factors, the decline in contract prices of wafers has been easing over the past two months (ie, from December of last year to January of this year) TrendForce indicates that the migration to the 1XX-L processes has not been proceeding as smoothly and rapidly as expected for notebook SSDs during 1Q21 The testing and approval of 1XX-L products by PC OEMs has actually fallen behind schedule, so the bulk of demand is staying with the 92/96L processes rather than shifting toward the more advanced stacking processes At the same time, customers in other application segments are still focusing their demand on the 92/96L processes as well as the 64L processes Consequently, the NAND Flash market is now seeing a general tightening of supply Wafers are the first to be affected by this turn of events since this product category is low on priority for suppliers As suppliers curb the quantity of wafers in order to meet the growing demand from other applications, contract prices of wafers are starting to display a more stable trend In fact, some suppliers are raising quotes for wafers this February Based on this latest development, TrendForce has revised its projection of wafer prices for 1Q21 The previous projection predicted a QoQ decline of 10-15%, whereas the latest projection indicates that prices will hold relatively steady from 4Q20 Looking ahead to 2Q21, customers in the data center and server segments are expected to generate a stronger procurement momentum NAND Flash suppliers will therefore concentrate on meeting the demand for enterprise SSDs and pay less attention to the wafer segment However, the volume of orders from module houses will be somewhat muted due to the influence of the ongoing shortage and price hike for NAND Flash controller ICs As both supply and demand become weakened, NAND Flash wafer prices are thereby expected to remain mostly flat for 2Q21 ICs in the upstream supply chain, however, remain in severe shortage As such, even though NAND Flash suppliers have been putting forth a full effort to fulfill the demand for client SSDs, they will still have to beware of the possibility that actual notebook shipment may fall short of expectations due to an uneven distribution in the supply of raw materials Furthermore, should the pandemic become gradually alleviated in 2H21, the global notebook demand may begin approaching pre-pandemic levels, in turn leading PC OEMs to revise their business plans accordingly TrendForce therefore believes that uncertainties will still exist in the NAND Flash market in 2H21 With regards to the NAND Flash wafer market, the current short supply can be attributed to the fact that demand is mainly focused on certain specific product generations The decline in NAND Flash wafer prices in 1H21 is thus drastically narrowed, while demand from mostly the server side will also provide some upward momentum for NAND Flash wafer prices afterwards However, Micron will ramp up its 176L products starting from 3Q21 As these products have been significantly improved in terms of cost, and the main NAND Flash applications will have transitioned to products with higher layer counts by then, the impact on NAND Flash wafer prices in 2H21 remains to be seen For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom

Press Releases
Prices of NAND Flash Controller ICs Poised to Rise by 15-20% due to Tightening Production Capacity for Foundry Services, Says TrendForce

2020/12/22

Semiconductors

In the upstream semiconductor industry, the major foundries such as TSMC and UMC are reporting fully loaded capacities, while in the downstream, the available production capacity for OSAT is also lacking, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations Given this situation, suppliers of NAND Flash controller ICs such as Phison and Silicon Motion are now unable to meet upside demand from their clients Not only have many controller IC suppliers temporarily stopped offering quotes for new orders, but they are also even considering raising prices soon because the negotiations between NAND Flash suppliers and module houses over 1Q21 contracts are now at the critical juncture The potential increases in prices of controller ICs from outsourced suppliers (IC design houses) are currently estimated to be the range of 15-20% With regards to the demand side, demand has risen significantly for eMMC solutions with medium- and low-density specifications (ie, 64GB and lower), for which NAND Flash suppliers have mostly stopped updating the NAND Flash process technology, while maintaining support with the legacy 2D NAND or the 64L 3D NAND process This is on account of strong sales for Chromebook devices and TVs As older processes gradually account for a lowering portion of bit output proportions from NAND Flash suppliers, these companies are exhibiting a lowered willingness to directly supply such eMMC products to clients As a result, clients now need to turn to memory module houses, which are able to source NAND Flash components and controllers, to procure eMMC products in substantial quantities Hikes in prices of controller ICs will lead to hikes in module prices with mainstream 32GB and 64GB solutions for Chromebooks experiencing largest increases TrendForce points out that even though the whole NAND Flash market is still in oversupply right now, medium- and low-density eMMC solutions will likely experience price hikes as they are in tight supply due to insufficient output of controller ICs An increase in prices of controller ICs will result in a corresponding increase in the fixed costs of eMMC solutions This, in turn, will put pressure on OEMs that are procuring components With this scenario now becoming a reality, prices of those eMMC solutions that are in high demand could rise slightly in 1Q21 Examples include 32GB and 64GB solutions for Chromebook devices In the SSD market, the major NAND Flash suppliers such as Samsung are also the major device manufacturers Most SSD manufacturers have in-house controller ICs that are made at foundries under long-term agreements Hence, there have been no reports of price hikes or shortages for SSD controller ICs However, TrendForce has observed that lead time has been prolonged for SSD controller ICs as well Additionally, the share of SSD controller ICs that have been outsourced to IC design houses has increased for SSDs with PCIe 40 In the future, there is an increasing possibility that prices of SSD controller ICs will be affected by the statuses of outsourced IC suppliers For more information on reports and market data from TrendForce’s Department of Semiconductor Research, please click here, or email Ms Latte Chung from the Sales Department at lattechung@trendforcecom

Press Releases
NAND Flash Revenue for 3Q20 up by Only 0.3% QoQ Owing to Weak Server Sales, Says TrendForce

2020/11/26

Semiconductors

Total NAND Flash revenue reached US$145 billion in 3Q20, a 03% increase QoQ, while total NAND Flash bit shipment rose by 9% QoQ, but the ASP fell by 9% QoQ, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations The market situation in 3Q20 can be attributed to the rising demand from the consumer electronics end as well as the recovering smartphone demand before the year-end peak sales season Notably, in the PC market, the rise of distance education contributed to the growing number and scale of Chromebook tenders, but the increase in the demand for Chromebook devices has not led to a significant increase in NAND Flash consumption because storage capacity is rather limited for this kind of notebook computer Moreover, clients in the server and data center segments had aggressively stocked up on components and server barebones during 2Q20 due to worries about the impact of the pandemic on the supply chain Hence, their inventories reached a fairly high level by 3Q20 Clients are now under pressure to control and reduce their inventories during this second half of the year With them scaling back procurement, the overall NAND Flash demand has also weakened, leading to a downward turn in the contract prices of most NAND Flash products On the other hand, the latest escalation in the US-China trade dispute saw the US government expanding its export control rules against Huawei in mid-3Q20 Subsequently, Huawei had to pull component shipments forward and stock up as much as possible before the rules came into effect The wave of procurement triggered by this event affected not only MCP and UFS solutions for smartphones but also low-density MLC eMMC solutions for consumer products and NAND wafers for components Bit shipments for 3Q20 on the whole grew on account of this event Looking ahead to 4Q20, customers in the server segment will continue with their inventory reduction efforts Hence, the overall demand will still be rather sluggish Furthermore, the wave of procurement initiated by Huawei has subsided since the stricter export control regime came into force in mid-September Other Chinese smartphone brands are now aggressively building their component inventories in preparation to capture Huawei’s market share However, their demand together with the demand related to the iPhone 12 series is not enough to reverse the oversupply situation that will be affecting the entire NAND Flash market through 4Q20 Also, Samsung and YMTC still intend to continue raising production output, thereby worsening the glut in the NAND Flash market TrendForce expects the continuing decline in prices to lead to a QoQ decline in total NAND Flash revenue in 4Q20 Samsung Samsung’s ASP fell by nearly 10% QoQ for 3Q20 as the overall demand was adversely affected by the inventory reduction efforts that were taking place in the server segment However, its bit shipments significantly exceeded expectations for the same period and offset the price decline The tightening of the US export restrictions in the middle of the quarter compelled Huawei to extend its component inventory “one last time” before being cut off from foreign suppliers At the same time, Samsung benefitted from the stock-up demand related to the upcoming release of the iPhone 12 series Samsung saw a QoQ increase of almost 20% in its NAND Flash bit shipments for 3Q20 Thanks to this, its NAND Flash revenue for the same quarter also rose by 59% QoQ to US$4809 billion At the moment, Samsung is proceeding with the second-phase expansion of its Xi’an base as scheduled As for developments in technology and products, the V5 (92L) process still accounts for the majority share of Samsung’s NAND Flash output To maintain cost competitiveness, Samsung will be stepping up efforts to get clients to adopt SSDs and UFS solutions featuring V6 (128L) NAND Flash The transition from the V5 to the V6 will become more pronounced in 2021 Kioxia Kioxia’s bit shipments in 3Q20 increased by nearly 25% QoQ thanks to Huawei’s aggressive inventory building and the demand related to the releases of the iPhone 12 series and new game consoles However, Kioxia’s ASP fell by around 9% QoQ on account of the declining overall demand for NAND Flash products Despite the drop in prices, Kioxia posted a considerable revenue growth for 3Q20 because its earnings report for the period included the revenue from the SSD business unit that it acquired from Lite-On The supplier’s NAND Flash revenue went up by 246% QoQ to US$3101 billion In the aspect of capacity planning, Kioxia can add new production capacity at K1 but plans to keep its total wafer starts relatively constant to the end of 2021 Moving to product development, 96L products still account for the majority share of Kioxia’s supply The production of 112L BiCS products is not expected to pick up noticeably until 2H21 It is worth noting that Kioxia just announced this October 29 that it will build a new production facility, designated as Fab7, at its Yokkaichi base The construction is scheduled to begin in 1Q21, and the facility is set to contribute to the supplier’s output in 2022 With respect to products, Fab7 will probably focus on solutions after the BiCS6 generation Western Digital (WDC) WDC’s bit shipments increased by 1% QoQ due to stronger-than-expected sales of storage products for the retail and gaming markets However, its shipments of client SSDs and enterprise SSDs dropped noticeably because of inventory adjustments by clients in the PC and server segments Moreover, its ASP fell by about 9% QoQ because of the change in its product mix and the weakening of the overall demand As a result, WDC was not able to prevent a decline in its quarterly revenue and recorded a QoQ drop of 71% to US$2078 billion Turning to capacity planning, WDC will be collaborating with Kioxia to ready more production capacity at K1 and build the new Fab7 at Yokkaichi These expansion activities will enhance WDC’s competitive position vis-à-vis the other major suppliers As for product development, WDC will only begin to accelerate the transition to the BiCS5 (112L) technology in 2021 For now, most of its products are still based on the 96L BiCS4 technology WDC will also being offering BiCS4 SSDs with the PCIe 40 interface in the near future SK Hynix SK Hynix gives more weight to mobile solutions in its NAND Flash product mix, so its bit shipments for 3Q20 grew by about 9% QoQ on the backs of the new iPhone devices, new game consoles, and Huawei’s procurement activities However, SK Hynix was also affected by the inventory reduction efforts in the server segment The share of SSDs in its NAND Flash product shipments fell under 45% in 3Q20, and its ASP also dropped by around 10% QoQ Taken these factors altogether, SK Hynix’s revenue for 3Q20 dipped by 31% QoQ to US$1643 billion SK Hynix will not make any significant changes to its production capacity The company is expected to maintain its wafer input levels to the end of 2021 To extend its cost advantage, SK Hynix is pushing clients to adopt 96L and 128L solutions The 128L process is expected to comprise around 30% of the supplier’s overall NAND Flash output by the end of this year However, the adoption of 128L solutions by server OEMs requires more time Regarding SK Hynix’s acquisition of Intel’s NAND Flash business, the deal was announced this October 20 TrendForce points out that the deal will help strengthen SK Hynix in the development of QLC NAND Flash and enterprise SSDs, which are two areas that the company needs to improve Through the acquisition of Intel’s assets, SK Hynix will also become the world’s second-largest NAND Flash supplier by market share Micron Micron’s revenue for its latest fiscal quarter dropped by 81% QoQ to US$153 billion Micron has been optimizing its sales mix with a focus on reducing the share of channel-market wafers Nevertheless, its ASP fell by nearly 8% QoQ for its latest fiscal quarter (June-August) due to the downturn of the whole NAND Flash market The temporary wave of procurement initiated by Huawei helped Micron’s bit shipments, which were on par with the previous quarter On the technology front, Micron has started to ship 128L products featuring Replacement Gate, which is its own transistor design However, the supplier’s focus for next year will be on the market release of its 176L products Micron intends to have most of its storage products for OEMs directly migrate to the 176L technology These include client SSDs, UFS solutions, etc The deliveries of 176L samples are scheduled to be completed before 2Q21 Furthermore, Micron is steadily raising the shipment share of QLC products This indicates that Micron wants to be regarded as the main alternative to Intel in the QLC segment Intel Intel experienced a substantial QoQ decline of almost 25% in its bit shipments for 3Q20 Since Intel has a large market share for enterprise SSDs, the increasing pressure on server OEMs to reduce their component inventories turned this advantage into a disadvantage in bit shipments Also, Intel suffered a QoQ drop of around 10% in its ASP because of the weakening overall demand With falling shipments and prices, Intel’s NAND Flash revenue for 3Q20 registered a steep QoQ decline of 305% to US$1153 billion In the aspect of capacity planning, Intel has no expansion plan for this year and intends to maintain wafer starts at its Dalian plant For next year, Intel will undertake capacity expansion, though the long-term benefit of the additional capacity will mostly go to SK Hynix Looking at plans related to products and technology, Intel remains focused on enterprise SSDs and has sent samples of 144L products to its clients The production of 144L solutions is expected to begin ramping up in 2021

Press Releases
SK Hynix to Possess Second Highest NAND Market Share via Acquisition of Intel’s NAND Capacity and Related Technologies, Says TrendForce

2020/10/20

Semiconductors

SK Hynix has announced today (Oct 20) that it will acquire Intel’s NAND Flash business and Dalian-based Fab 68, which is dedicated to 3D NAND Flash production, for US$9 billion In accordance with regulatory laws and policies, SK Hynix will apply for permission from governments in China, the US, and South Korea, with the acquisition expected to conclude in March 2025 TrendForce indicates that the merger between Intel’s NAND Flash business and SK Hynix will allow the latter to benefit from the complementary technologies, especially in the enterprise SSD market Broadly speaking, this marks the next chapter of reorganization for the NAND Flash industry According to data compiled by TrendForce, SK Hynix and Intel occupied 117% and 115% market shares, in terms of revenue, in the NAND Flash market in 2Q20, placing the two companies in fourth and sixth places, respectively In terms of product competitiveness, SK Hynix has an advantage in the mobile market, including eMCP and eMMC products, accounting for more than 60% of SK Hynix’s total NAND Flash revenue in 2019 On the other hand, Intel has been performing superbly in the enterprise SSD market Not only is Intel on par with Samsung in enterprise SSD, but it has also captured more than 50% of the Chinese market Enterprise SSD yields the highest profitability among the entire range of the company’s NAND Flash end-products The acquisition will have a complementary effect on SK Hynix’s technologies and bolster its enterprise SSD range In terms of production capacity, all of SK Hynix’s current NAND Flash wafer inputs are located in South Korea, whereas Intel’s NAND Flash capacity is entirely located in Dalian, China Among all NAND Flash suppliers, Intel is the most committed to the promotion of QLC architecture adoption, and QLC SSD is expected to occupy more than 30% of its NAND Flash bit output by the end of this year From a technology perspective, Intel insists on using Floating Gate technology in its 3D NAND Flash production This technology is vastly different from the Charge Trap technology used by other suppliers, including SK Hynix, meaning there is a significant difference in the etching processes between Intel and SK Hynix The acquisition of Intel’s 3D NAND Flash capacity will massively elevate SK Hynix’s competitiveness in the enterprise SSD market Going forward, it remains to be seen how the two companies will optimize their product portfolios following the acquisition in order to maximize profits SK Hynix is projected to secure more than 20% of NAND Flash market share after it acquires Intel’s production capacity, in turn surpassing second-place Kioxia and ranking SK Hynix right behind market leader Samsung However, it should be noted that this acquisition pertains only to Intel’s relevant 3D NAND Flash technologies and capacities and does not include its 3D-XPoint memory technology, which has recently received much attention in the market

Press Releases
NAND Flash Revenue Rises 6.5% QoQ in 2Q20 Due to Pandemic-Induced Demand Growth for Cloud Services, Says TrendForce

2020/08/27

Semiconductors

The NAND Flash industry benefitted from strong demand for PCs and servers in 2Q20 as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a demand surge for cloud services and technologies that are related to working from home, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations This, in turn, kept demand high for SSDs However, the smartphone and consumer electronics markets had not recovered from the impact of the pandemic The demand for these products therefore declined compared to the previous quarter In 2Q20, total NAND Flash bit shipment and ASP both experienced a minor increase of about 3% QoQ, while NAND Flash revenue reached US$145 billion, a 65% increase QoQ NAND Flash suppliers’ revenue performances during this quarter (3Q20) are expected to benefit from the following positive drivers: (1) the increasing tenders for Chromebooks, (2) the stock-up activities related to the next iPhone series, and (3) the SSD demand related to the upcoming game consoles However, server OEMs and customers in the data center sector are now under pressure to reduce their server barebones and have scaled back procurement Likewise, PC OEMs currently have sufficient inventory and are turning more conservative in their future outlooks Furthermore, new Chinese entrant YMTC continues to expand its production output, thus forcing the established NAND Flash suppliers to add new production capacity and raise the layer number in their 3D NAND stacking process The NAND Flash market is therefore projected to shift to a state of oversupply in 3Q20 With contract prices of various types of NAND Flash products making a downward turn, the total NAND Flash revenue for 3Q20 is now estimated to be relatively on par with the previous quarter Samsung In 2Q20, Samsung continued to see high demand for its client and enterprise SSDs However, the pandemic severely weakened demand in the smartphone market and retail channels Samsung’s bit shipments therefore dropped slightly by nearly 3% QoQ However, its ASP rose by almost 5% QoQ Taken altogether, Samsung’s NAND Flash revenue for 2Q20 came to $4542 billion, which is relatively on par with the previous quarter In terms of capacity planning, Samsung is still proceeding with its second-phase expansion of the Xi’an base Moving to product development, Samsung is steadily raising the output share of its V5 (92L) process As for the V6 (128L) process, the supplier intends to begin mass production, integration into storage products, and client adoption all within 2020 Production and shipments of V6 products will then ramp up in 2021 Kioxia The stock-up demand generated by the upcoming release of new game consoles and the demand for enterprise SSDs were unable to offset downward pressure from declining smartphone demand, leading to a subpar bit shipment performance for Kioxia, which reached a 4% decrease QoQ in 2Q20 Kioxia saw a minor increase in ASP owing to the overall shortage in the NAND Flash market Kioxia’s NAND Flash revenue came to $2488 billion in 2Q20, a 31% decrease QoQ With regards to Kioxia’s capacity planning, although the K1 fab located in Iwate Prefecture has begun contributing output, Kioxia’s total production capacity remains at 490-500K/m In terms of process technology, Kioxia will continue to primarily focus on 96L products this year Large-scale migration to 112L BiCS5 products is expected to take place in 2H21 Western Digital Thanks to increased SSD sales driven by PC and server demand and to the fact that Western Digital had reduced its shipment to the mobile devices sector in advance at the end of last year, WDC was able to alleviate some of the impact from the pandemic, reaching an 8% QoQ increase in bit shipment in 2Q20 WDC’s ASP remained mostly flat compared to the previous quarter, growing by only about 1% QoQ WDC’s NAND Flash revenue reached $2238 billion, an 86% increase QoQ In terms of production capacity, WDC is continuing to infuse resources into its K1 fab in Iwate Prefecture The fab is expected to undergo a significant growth in production capacity in 1H21 Regarding product planning, although some 112L BiCS5 products have been shipped to the channel markets, OEMs are still focused on the adoption of 96L BiCS4 products Large-scale client adoption and increased shipment allocation of BiCS5 products will not take place until a comprehensive planning of product mixes is complete, likely in 2021 SK Hynix SK Hynix has been successful in introducing its storage products to data centers in North America As a result, the share of enterprise SSDs in the supplier’s shipment mix grew considerably in 1H20 The supplier posted a QoQ increase of more than 5% in its bit shipments and a QoQ increase of 8% in its ASP for 2Q20 SK Hynix’s NAND Flash revenue for 2Q20 reached $1694 billion, reflecting a QoQ increase of 17% In terms of capacity planning, SK Hynix has not made any major adjustments for this year Its total NAND Flash production capacity at the end of 2020 will be slightly lower than at the start of the same year, residing in the range of 190-200K/m TrendForce currently projects that the 96L and 128L products together will account for more than 70% of SK Hynix’s overall NAND Flash output by 4Q20 as the company focuses on reinforcing cost advantages and competitiveness, while 176L products are expected to be launched in 2021 Micron Owing to the rapidly surging enterprise SSD sales, Micron’s NAND Flash revenue reached $1665 billion in 2Q20, a 10% increase QoQ, while its bit shipment also grew by 7% QoQ In addition, Micron reduced its allocation of wafers sold to channel distributors This, combined with the tight supply in the market, resulted in a near-3% QoQ increase in ASP Going forward, Micron will focus on the rapid transition into Replacement Gate products The first generation will be 128L 3D NAND products, which are already being shipped in small volumes The second-generation 176L products, which will be Micron’s real focus, is expected to enter mass production at the end of 2020 Micron will be raising the allocation of 176L production on a quarterly basis next year Intel Intel, which had been cultivating the enterprise and client SSD sectors for a long time, benefitted from the large number of client orders that were deferred to 2Q20 due to the pandemic These deferred orders increased Intel’s quarterly bit shipment by 25% QoQ in 2Q20 Unfortunately, price negotiations for these orders had completed in 1Q20, meaning Intel’s ASP remained flat in 2Q20 The company’s NAND Flash revenue reached $1659 billion in 2Q20, a 24% increase QoQ Intel has no plans to expand its production capacity this year, and it will maintain its existing level of wafer starts at the Dalian fab Intel remains relatively focused on the development of enterprise SSDs and is expected to begin delivering its 144L enterprise SSDs for client adoption and progressively increase their production starting in 2021 Intel’s client SSDs are scheduled for adoption starting in 3Q20

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