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Press Releases
Owing to High Demand from Smartphone Manufacturers, NAND Flash Revenue Undergoes Mere 2.9% QoQ Decline in 4Q20, Says TrendForce

2021/03/03

Semiconductors

The quarterly total revenue of the NAND Flash industry came to US$141 billion in 4Q20, showing a QoQ drop of 29%, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations The total bit shipments of the NAND Flash industry in 4Q20 registered a QoQ increase of nearly 9% This gain for the most part offset the negative impacts brought about by the QoQ decline of nearly 9% in the overall ASP of NAND Flash products, as well as by the unfavorable exchange rates that impaired some suppliers’ performances At the same time, clients in the server and data center segments continued their inventory reduction efforts that had begun in 3Q20 Since their procurement drive remained fairly weak, contract prices of NAND Flash products continued their decline as well However, NAND Flash suppliers were receiving substantial orders from OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi On the whole, the strong demand in the smartphone segment mostly compensated for the weak demand in the server and data center segments In the notebook computer segment, Chromebook devices were the primary sales driver, but the storage components of most Chromebooks are low-density solutions, meaning related NAND Flash demand is somewhat limited Turning to 1Q21 (this quarter), the bit output of the NAND Flash industry continues to grow significantly due to two factors First, Samsung and YMTC are actively expanding production capacity Second, all suppliers are eager to migrate to the more advanced stacking process On the demand side, PC and smartphone brands have kept stocking up on components However, they have also slightly corrected down their demand as the first quarter is the traditional off-season As for clients in the server and data center segments, they have yet to restart large-scale procurement even though their inventories have generally returned to a healthy level As such, during price negotiations, NAND Flash suppliers still expect the oversupply situation in the market to intensify and thereby further drive contract prices of NAND Flash products downward Therefore, NAND Flash suppliers’ revenues are projected to undergo a QoQ decline in 1Q21 Samsung Two factors helped Samsung’s performance in the NAND Flash market during 4Q20 First, Chinese smartphone brands (with the exception of Huawei) continued to aggressively build up their component inventories so as to fight for more market share Second, PC OEMs released more upside orders than anticipated because of the further demand growth for notebook computers Samsung’s NAND Flash bit shipments in 4Q20 rose by 7-9% QoQ as a result of the strong procurement momentum in the smartphone and PC segments However, the ASP of its NAND Flash products dropped by more than 10% QoQ for the same period Although clients in the data center segment did begin sending out orders for servers and components at that time, their demand was still very limited As for clients in the enterprise server segment, they were mainly focused on inventory reduction With the market leaning toward oversupply, Samsung had to lower prices and thereby experienced a revenue decline Compared with 3Q20, Samsung’s NAND Flash revenue fell by 34% to US$4644 billion Regarding production and technology plans, Samsung this year will be the leader among NAND Flash suppliers in raising production capacity Besides continuing to expand the production capacity of the Xi’an Fab 2, Samsung will also set up a production line for 3D NAND Flash at P2L (in the Pyeongtaek campus) Most of Samsung’s NAND Flash products are still based on the V5 (92L) process at this moment However, the supplier will significantly raise the output share of NAND Flash from the V6 (128L) process this year The application of the V6 process technology will expand to more of its offerings for SSDs and UFS solutions Kioxia Following the end of Huawei’s stock-up activities, Kioxia was unable to fully regain the demand for its mobile NAND Flash products through orders from other Chinese smartphone brands in 4Q20 At the same time, the supplier was affected by the weak demand for enterprise SSDs On the other hand, there were other sources of demand such as notebook computers and game consoles Consequently, Kioxia’s bit shipments in 4Q20 still registered a small increase As for the ASP, Kioxia experienced a QoQ decline of 8-10% because of the general oversupply situation On account of these factors, Kioxia’s NAND Flash revenue slid by 114% QoQ to US$2749 billion for 4Q20 Regarding production and technology plans, Kioxia will gradually expand the production capacity of K1 As for the construction of new fabs, Kioxia is staying with its plan to begin building Fab 7 in Yokkaichi and K2 in Kitakami in 1Q21 These fabs, which will be producing BiCS6 or more technologically advanced products, are expected to start contributing to the supplier’s output sometime in 2022 Technology migration will also be the main driver of its bit output growth Currently, the majority of Kioxia’s NAND Flash products are still manufactured with the 96L BiCS4 process Going forward, the supplier intends to raise the shipment share of 112L BiCS5 products this year Western Digital Western Digital saw the ASP of its NAND Flash products drop by 9% QoQ for 4Q20 as its clients in the server segment were reducing their inventories On the other hand, the sales of its channel-market products continued to grow, and the robust demand for notebook computers led to an impressive shipment result for its client SSDs Western Digital’s bit shipments in 4Q20 increased by 7% QoQ This roughly compensated for the decline in the ASP All in all, the supplier posted a QoQ drop of just 21% in its revenue to US$2034 billion Concerning its activities, Western Digital will be collaborating with Kioxia in the construction of Fab 7 and K2 The additional production capacity from these two plants will help the allied suppliers to deal with market competition in the future The 96L BiCS4 process will be Western Digital’s primary technology for NAND Flash production this year Additionally, Western Digital will be providing OEMs with samples of TLC and QLC products that are manufactured with the 112L BiCS5 process sometime between 2Q21 and 3Q21 Western Digital’s next-generation BiCS6 process is also set to enter the production stage in 2022 SK Hynix SK Hynix benefited from the aggressive stock-up activities of Chinese smartphone brands in 4Q20 Its bit shipments rose by 8% QoQ, but its ASP also dropped by 8% QoQ due to the general oversupply situation With the decline in the ASP being canceled out by the increase in bit shipments, SK Hynix kept its NAND Flash revenue relatively constant for 4Q20 It posted a miniscule QoQ decline of 02% to US$1639 billion This year, SK Hynix will rely on technology migration as the primary means of increasing bit output The share of 128L products in its bit output came to around 30% at the end of 2020 and is expected to keep growing to surpass the output shares of 72L and 96L products in 2021 The supplier has also scheduled the launch of its 176L products for 2H21 Regarding the acquisition of Intel’s NAND Flash plant in Dalian, the transfer of the ownership of the plant along with Intel’s SSD assets is expected to be completed by the end of this year as originally planned Micron Thanks to stock-up activities of smartphone brands and the growing demand for QLC SSDs from PC OEMs, Micron posted a significant QoQ increase of 17-20% in its bit shipments for 4Q20 However, like other suppliers, its ASP fell in the same period due to the general oversupply situation and registered a QoQ decline of 10-13% In terms of revenue, Micron posted a QoQ increase of 29% to US$1574 billion On the technology front, Micron has 128L products, but unlike other suppliers’ strategies, Micron will not ship 128L products to its main clients Instead, Micron is focusing on the development of the second-generation 176L products that will serve as its main offerings in the future Its clients will thus bypass the 128L process and advance directly to 176L process OEMs are expected to begin receiving samples of 176L products from Micron in 2Q21 in accordance with the supplier’s schedule With respect to the cell type, Micron is raising the shipment share of QLC products Currently, more than 50% of supplier’s NVMe SSD shipments (in bit terms) are QLC products Intel Intel made a recovery in its bit shipments in 4Q20 after inventory adjustments in the data center and enterprise server segments had caused a QoQ decline of nearly 25% in 3Q20 The procurement momentum of its clients was still fairly weak in 4Q20, but it did pick up somewhat compared with the previous quarter Additionally, the demand from PC OEMs continued to rise Consequently, Intel’s bit shipments grew by nearly 25% QoQ for 4Q20 Again like other suppliers, Intel saw its ASP drop in 4Q20 because of the general oversupply situation The QoQ decline came to almost 20% On balance, Intel’s NAND Flash revenue went up by 48% to US$1208 billion for 4Q20 Intel will probably not make any significant changes to its existing plans for production capacity and product mix as it has sealed the deal to sell its NAND Flash business to SK Hynix It will continue to leverage its advantage in the enterprise SSD market to push its clients to adopt 144L products Regarding the distribution of its product shipments by technology, Intel will be raising shipment share for the 144L stacking process and the QLC architecture To increase the output of 144L products, Intel will expand the production capacity of the Dalian plant this year From a long-term perspective, SK Hynix will be the main beneficiary of this capacity expansion effort On the whole, TrendForce’s investigations find that PC OEMs have been releasing a substantial amount of upside orders since the start of 1Q21 Although the oversupply situation is worse compared with 4Q20, it has become more moderate than expected Moreover, the market is anticipating that clients in the data center segment will reinitiate large-scale procurement in 2Q21 The sentiment has thus turned more positive with respect to contract negotiations, and the general price decline has also begun to ease earlier than expected Suppliers’ sales performances are projected to rebound rapidly in 2Q21 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 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

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