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keyword:Ben Yeh11 result(s)

Press Releases
NAND Flash Market Weakens Rapidly in 3Q20 with Widening Decline in Wafer Prices, Says TrendForce

2020/07/30

Semiconductors

After spot prices have been falling for some time, the NAND Flash market is formally seeing a general decline in contract prices starting from 3Q20, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations Looking at the extent of the price decline by product type, SSDs have experienced a relatively smaller drop because there is still decent demand for these products In contrast, NAND Flash wafers have suffered a noticeably larger decrease because this type of product is under the mounting pressure to drive sales by cutting prices TrendForce indicates that, regarding the supply/demand dynamics of the whole NAND Flash market, the sufficiency ratio for 3Q20 is currently estimated at 26% This oversupply situation is attributed to the accumulation of inventory caused by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic Since an excessive level of inventory has been carried over to this quarter, contract prices have inevitably turned downward Looking ahead to 4Q20, TrendForce expects the general decline to become sharper as the sufficiency ratio for the quarter is forecasted to reach 78% Oversupply in the NAND Flash market becomes a main reason for the widening decline in wafer prices Major suppliers have been reducing the supply in the wafer market over the past few months in consideration of both gross profit concerns and the flourishing demand for SSD; as well, module makers were unable to effectively clear inventory due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, resulting in wafer contract prices maintaining a flat to slightly downward trend from April to June Although demand from the retail end has been recovering in June and July, the demand for PC and server SSDs has weakened as a result of decelerating demand for cloud and remote access services To avoid a potential inventory surge, the major suppliers are pressured to ramp up their supplies to the wafer market, leading to contract prices closing in on spot prices in the next few months On the other hand, YMTC’s capacity expansion this year is expected to continue in 2021 In addition to reaching maximum capacity utilization in its Wuhan fab, YMTC is projected to complete the construction of a second fab in Wuhan The company aims to start mass producing 128L products in 3Q20 and rapidly raise the shipment allocation of these products next year Currently, YMTC has expanded the incorporation of 64L 256GB TLC products for its module maker clients; the average quoted price is far lower than contract prices and approaching spot market levels, in turn widening the decline in contract prices and exacerbating the oversupply situation in the market TrendForce believes that, despite the traditional peak season for electronics sales and the release of Apple’s new iPhones in 3Q20, the quarterly decline in NAND Flash ASP will likely reach 10%, due to the client end’s excess inventory under the impact of the pandemic Furthermore, as suppliers continue making improvements in the yield rate of 128L NAND Flash, the oversupply in the NAND Flash market will intensify in 4Q20, further exacerbating the decline in NAND Flash ASP

Press Releases
Changes in NAND Flash Prices to Be Limited in 3Q20 as New Game Console Releases Projected to Compensate for Weakening Cloud Demand, Says TrendForce

2020/06/29

Semiconductors

According to the latest investigations by the DRAMeXchange research division of TrendForce, despite the reduced demand for consumer electronics and smartphones as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAND Flash market showed a short supply in 1H20, thanks to the corresponding rising demand for cloud services and distance education, as well as increased inventory procurement by some clients concerned with a possible breakage in the supply chain On the whole, SSD currently dominates NAND Flash demand, while demand from the eMMC, UFS, and wafer markets, which are related to smartphones and consumer electronics, remains relatively sluggish Demand from game consoles and Chromebooks is expected to shore up sluggish data center NAND Flash demand TrendForce analyst Ben Yeh indicates that negotiations for 3Q20 NAND Flash contract prices are currently ongoing According to TrendForce’s observations, the planned year-end release of the new consoles remains unchanged, and the stock-up activities related to the first-time SSD adoption by game console makers that began in 2Q20 are expected to peak in 3Q20 In addition, the demand for Chromebooks has been robust due to the GIGA School proposal from Japan and the reinforced European and American tenders However, the impact of urgent orders generated by the pandemic has started to decelerate after the gradual easing of lockdowns in various countries In particular, there will likely be a reduction in the demand for enterprise SSDs, products that experienced the highest demand in 1H20, since they are affected by the adjustments in the inventory level of server barebones and by the deferred build-out schedule of data centers Given that the demand for commercial notebook computers has also gradually stabilized, the procurement side, including OEM/ODM buyers, is expected to conservatize their purchasing demand in 3Q20 On the other hand, demand from the retail end and from smartphones is expected to somewhat bounce back in 3Q20, given the relatively low base period in 2Q20, though with weaker momentum compared to 2019 Changes in NAND Flash prices will be limited due to the balanced supply and demand in the market in 3Q20 Since the impact of the pandemic on the overall supply bit growth has been limited, while NAND Flash suppliers currently keep a fairly healthy level of inventory, the overall NAND Flash market is projected to transition from a state of relatively tight supply to a state of balanced supply and demand As such, contract prices of mainstream NAND Flash products are projected to experience a limited decline in 3Q20 (that is, ranging from holding steady, to a slight QoQ drop) As for the more price-sensitive NAND Flash wafer market, prices there may register noticeable MoM declines in 3Q20 due to the weakening demand from module makers Regarding the demand situation in 4Q20, TrendForce projects that component stocking related to Chromebooks and the next-generation game consoles (which now receive a lot of market attention) will have declined from their peaks by then; the demand for commercial notebook computers is expected to further weaken as well Besides these factors, server OEMs and cloud service providers still need time to adjust their inventories They will unlikely regain their procurement momentum in 4Q20 Although sales of smartphones and retails sales of storage products are projected to return to a QoQ growth for 4Q20, they will be unable to compensate for the reduction in SSD demand Hence, TrendForce believes that contract prices will keep falling and experience a wider magnitude of declines for different types of NAND Flash products in 4Q20

Press Releases
NAND Flash Revenue Undergoes 8.3% QoQ Growth in 1Q20 in Light of Surging Demand from Data Centers, Says TrendForce

2020/05/25

Semiconductors

According to the latest investigations by the DRAMeXchange research division of TrendForce, NAND Flash bit shipment in 1Q20 was relatively on par with 4Q19 The overall ASP of NAND Flash products also climbed during the period As a result, the global NAND Flash revenue for the quarter went up by 83% QoQ to US$136 billion In 1Q20, demand for enterprise SSDs exceeded supply because cloud service providers’ procurement for data centers had been growing progressively since 4Q19 Also, inventories of NAND Flash suppliers mostly returned to normal during the period Consequently, most NAND Flash products for the major applications experienced a rise in contract prices As for the impact of COVID-19 during the Lunar New Year, TrendForce’s investigations at the time found that the server supply chain managed to make a better recovery than the supply chains for notebook computers and smartphones The impact of the outbreak on the storage demand from the cloud services sector was thus quite limited On the other hand, the production of notebooks and smartphones was affected by logistical problems and breakage in the component supply chain Because of this, notebook and smartphone manufacturers have gradually resumed production since March Looking toward 2Q20, applications such as remote service and video streaming will continue to generate a need for cloud services, while there is a drastic increase of notebook demand, reflected in large-scale enterprise purchases and government bids, caused by the sudden rise of WFH and distance education Therefore, the majority of NAND Flash demand in 2Q20 will come from tablets, notebooks, and enterprise SSDs Driven by the strong demand for these applications, the corresponding shortage in the NAND Flash market will in turn lead to rising NAND Flash contract prices in 2Q20 With the continuing rise in both demand and prices, TrendForce expects NAND Flash suppliers to further increase their revenues Samsung During the onset of COVID-19, Samsung registered lower than expected client SSD shipment because the outbreak kept ODMs from immediately resuming normal operations after the Lunar New Year holiday In addition, shipments of mobile memory/storage solutions also slowed down in the traditional off-season However, these two factors were offset by the strong demand for enterprise SSDs from the cloud services sector; in 1Q20, Samsung’s bit shipment dropped by about 3% QoQ whereas its ASP rose by about 4% QoQ The company’s NAND Flash revenue for the quarter was relatively on par with the result of the previous quarter, coming to a total of $4501 billion As for technology migration, Samsung is now raising the allocation of 92L NAND production in its output and plans to introduce 128L process technology into different storage applications within this year The deployment of the more advanced process will help Samsung retain its cost competitiveness and effectively respond to the market’s demand for higher density products SK Hynix Although the mobile segment historically accounts for the majority share of SK Hynix’s NAND Flash revenue, the rising demand from the cloud services sector led to a doubling of SK Hynix’s enterprise SSD shipments in 1Q20, in turn pushing up bit shipments by 12% QoQ As well, SK Hynix’s NAND Flash ASP went up by 7% QoQ due to the optimization of its product mix SK Hynix posted 1Q20 NAND Flash revenue of $1447 billion, a 198% increase QoQ This represented a sizable gain from the previous quarter’s performance and helped ease the magnitude of the loss that SK Hynix’s NAND Flash business had incurred over the past several quarters SK Hynix will be concentrating on improving its process technology this year Aside from increasing the allocation of its 96L products, the company is also expected to begin mass producing 128L products in 2Q20 Kioxia Kioxia’s bit shipment rose by about 3% QoQ in 1Q20 due to the strong demand for SSDs driven by cloud service providers and notebook manufacturers Its ASP also jumped about 6% QoQ in 1Q20 because of Kioxia’s effective adjustment of its product mix and the fact that the NAND Flash market was still in undersupply during the period Kioxia’s 1Q20 revenue climbed 97% QoQ to $2567 billion Kioxia is expected to significantly raise the allocation of SSDs in its product mix this year Major sources of demand for its SSDs will come from servers, notebooks, and the next-generation game consoles to be released at the end of the year On the subject of technology, Kioxia is expected to rely mostly on its 96L process for meeting the aforementioned SSD demand this year Western Digital (WDC) WDC benefitted from the demand generated by the cloud services sector in 1Q20 and posted a QoQ growth of about 7% in its bit shipments for the quarter, while its ASP increased by about 5% due to the overall shortage in the NAND Flash market WDC’s 1Q20 NAND Flash revenue reached $2061 billion, a 121% increase QoQ In terms of product development, WDC’s focus for 2020 is on increasing the allocation of 96L products in sales of client and enterprise SSDs, as the demand for these products will be higher compared with other NAND Flash applications Micron Like other NAND Flash suppliers, Micron benefitted from the robust demand from the cloud services sector and registered a revenue growth of nearly 20% QoQ Micron was able to raise its profitability by reducing the allocation of channel market wafers in its shipment of NAND Flash products Despite a slight drop in bit shipment, Micron’s ASP increased by about 10% QoQ The company’s NAND Flash revenue reached $1514 billion in 1Q20, a 647% increase QoQ Regarding its product mix strategy, Micron continues to concentrate on SSDs and has been aggressively promoting its client SSDs to PC OEMs since 2H19 On the technology front, Micron plans to switch to Replacement Gate this year, with the initial application of this technology targeting its 128L products Intel Due to its long-established presence in the enterprise SSD market, Intel was swamped with orders related to recent procurement from the cloud services sector This development, together with the recent modification of its product mix, contributed to a large QoQ hike of 20% in its ASP in 1Q20 However, Intel also posted a QoQ decrease of nearly 10% in bit shipment because it has not been raising production capacity and lacks the additional inventory to meet urgent or upside demand Intel’s 1Q20 NAND Flash revenue reached $1338 billion, a 99% increase QoQ Turning to product development and technology migration, the main focus of Intel’s sales strategy will still be its lineup of enterprise SSDs The company will primarily aim to transition its clients to 96L products in 2020 and send out samples of 144L products by the end of the year, with increased shipment volume expected in 2021 In addition, Intel’s QLC products accounted for more than 5% allocation of its NAND Flash bit shipments in 1Q20 As such, the company is expected to actively continue its QLC product development this year

Press Releases
Competition in NAND Flash Market to Intensify in 2021 as YMTC Unveils 128L Products on Schedule, Says TrendForce

2020/04/20

Semiconductors

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a greater impact on established NAND manufacturers, as YMTC aims to mass produce 128L products by the end of the year According to the DRAMeXchange research division of TrendForce, Chinese NAND Flash manufacturer YMTC submitted samples of its 128L 3D NAND products to storage controller chip suppliers in 1Q20 The company is aiming to begin wafer input in 3Q20 and start mass production by the end of the year The initial applications being considered for the 128L process include UFS-based storage solutions and SSDs; YMTC also intends on shipping packaged dies and wafers based on this technology to module houses Factoring in the time for adoption among OEM clients, TrendForce believes that YMTC’s 128L production could first affect contract prices of NAND wafers as early as 4Q20 Then, YMTC is expected to apply its 128L process to client SSDs, eMMC/UFS solutions, and other storage products starting from 2021 With the Chinese manufacturer poised to expand the overall supply with its latest technology, the possibility of declining prices next year has become significantly higher for most types of NAND Flash products TrendForce indicates that the demand for end products, including smartphones and notebook computers (laptops), will be affected in the near future on account of the COVID-19 pandemic For the established NAND Flash suppliers, this turn for the worse is expected to impede their profitability and constrain their future capacity expansion efforts In comparison, given YMTC’s relatively low market share across NAND Flash storage applications at the moment, the company will not be as directly affected by the fallout from the pandemic as the established manufacturers As for strategic aims, YMTC will be concentrating on two things: (1) improving the yield rate of its 64L TLC process along with raising the adoption of its 64L TLC products by OEMs; and (2) getting its 128L approved by prospective customers as soon as possible within this year To grow its client base, YMTC has included both the TLC and QLC architectures in its 128L samples Gradual increase in the difficulty of 3D NAND stacking benefits YMTC in minimizing competitive gaps As the stacking of 3D NAND Flash reaches more than 90L, it becomes progressively difficult for the major suppliers in developing higher layers of etching and stacking technology TrendForce’s observation on suppliers’ technology roadmaps finds that there are already differences among suppliers with respect to the generation of the 1XX L stacking While Samsung and SK Hynix have already released their 128L products, Kioxia/WD, Micron, and Intel will have to wait until 2H20 to drastically increase production for their 112/128/144L products The development of 1XX L products takes a longer period compared to the progressive pattern for previous generations of 3D NAND products, thus benefiting YMTC in catching up to the existing competition with its 128L products In addition, the overall NAND Flash ASP sustained a YoY drop of 46% in 2019, in turn inducing losses for the established suppliers and prompting them to adopt a conservative CapEx, with a record low output growth planning This phenomenon has given YMTC an opportunity to bridge the competitive gap YMTC’s production capacity is projected to occupy about 8% of the total NAND Flash output in 2021 New supplier YMTC currently operates a manufacturing site in Wuhan, whereas its Chengdu fab is expected to enter production within the year YMTC intends to steadily complete the construction and production expansion of the two remaining fabs at the Wuhan site Aside from its aggressive expansion plans, YMTC is also a key manufacturer cultivated under the Big Fund, China’s national semiconductor fund YMTC’s increased participation in the NAND Flash market is expected to elevate the severity of the competition, resulting in a continuous price reduction in the long run

Press Releases
Driven by Strong Demand from Data Center Clients, 4Q19 NAND Flash Revenue Grows 8.5%, Says TrendForce

2020/02/21

Semiconductors

Surging demand from data center clients in 4Q19 helped reduce suppliers’ stock levels 1Q20 revenue trended flat QoQ due to decreased bit shipment and increased prices According to the DRAMeXchange research division of TrendForce, 4Q19 NAND flash bit shipment increased by nearly 10% QoQ thanks to demand growth from data center clients On the supply side, contract prices made a successful rebound due to shortages caused by the power outage at Kioxia’s Yokkaichi production base in June In sum, 4Q19 NAND flash revenue reached $125 billion, an 85% increase QoQ The stronger-than-expected 4Q19 performance from the demand side helped improve supplier inventory back to normal levels In response, NAND suppliers were able to reduce their allocations to the wafer market and instead focus on shipping products with comparatively higher margins In 1Q20, the COVID-19 outbreak may have an impact on the consumer electronics supply chain, including smartphones and NBs; therefore, total quarterly bit shipment is projected to possibly post a minor decline or flat trend Even so, this may be offset by the large increase in contract prices, so NAND flash revenue is expected to at least maintain the same level as 4Q19 Samsung Owing to the growing demand from data center companies in 4Q19, the demand for Samsung’s SSDs far exceeded its supply; as such, Samsung’s bit shipment increased by almost 10% QoQ On the other hand, the company also posted an increase in ASP because of the increase in contract prices and the reduction of NAND flash supply in the channel markets With the simultaneous increase of ASP and shipment, Samsung’s 4Q19 NAND flash revenue reached $4451 billion, an 116% increase QoQ In terms of capacity planning, Samsung is continuing to decrease the planar NAND production capacity at Line 12 Its newly expanded second semiconductor plant in Xi’an is operating on schedule and without production delays for now despite potential issues in expansion schedule due to the COVID-19 outbreak SK Hynix Owing to growing demands in the mobile storage and data center markets, SK Hynix’s bit shipment grew by 10% QoQ in 4Q19 However, the increase in SK Hynix’s product storage density offset the increase in contract prices and resulted in a flat ASP SK Hynix’s NAND flash revenue reached $1207 billion, a 54% increase QoQ In terms of capacity planning, SK Hynix’s cutbacks in planar NAND capacity and the corresponding addition in 3D NAND capacity are expected to result in a lower year-end production capacity compared to the start of 2020 In terms of architecture, 128L products are expected to enter mass production in 1Q20 SK Hynix is also planning to release QLC products this year, but it will take longer to see client adoption of QLC SSDs, since SK Hynix’s product mix is still primarily targeted at the mobile market Kioxia Kioxia’s bit shipment increased by almost 10% QoQ thanks to its capacity recovery after the Yokkaichi power outage and to growing demands for data center and PC SSDs Its ASP also saw a near-5% increase, due to increases in contract prices caused by product shortages In terms of financials, the power outage affected only 3Q19 operations, without any adjustments to 4Q19 performance; Kioxia’s revenue reached $2341 billion, a 51% increase QoQ In terms of capacity expansion, the company’s Iwate-based K1 fab will begin operations in 1H20 and produce 96L/112L products The added production capacity will be used to compensate for capacity losses from raising the number of cell layers in Kioxia’s Yokkaichi site Therefore, total wafer starts will remain unchanged Western Digital Owing to the demand placed by Apple’s new iPhones and the surge in data center SSD demand, WD’s 4Q19 bit shipment increased by 24% QoQ However, the company’s ASP dropped by about 8% QoQ because of its higher-density product mix WD’s 4Q19 NAND flash revenue reached $1838 billion, a 126% increase QoQ In terms of production capacity, WD is continuing to invest in its Iwate-based K1 fab But the primary function of the added capacity from K1 is meant to offset capacity loss from the Yokkaichi fab’s process nodes and layer improvements, so total output will remain unchanged Micron Maintaining its 3Q19 growth momentum in the mobile storage market, Micron’s shipment of MCP products continued to grow At the same time, the strong demand for SSDs helped increase Micron’s 4Q19 bit shipment by almost 15% Also, Micron saw a minor growth in ASP due to the increase in market prices and the adoption of a more profitable product mix Micron’s revenue grew by 181% QoQ and reached $1422 billion In terms of production capacity, Micron’s capacity planning in 2020 is relatively conservative The clean rooms in its new Singapore-based fab are primarily intended to maintain Micron’s current production capacity Micron is focused on improving its process nodes and microarchitectures this year; its 128L products are expected to enter mass production in 2H20 Intel Like its competitors, Intel benefitted from the strong SSD demand from data centers Intel responded to its clients’ preemptive pull-in demand with existing stock in 3Q19, in turn raising its 3Q19 bit shipment considerably, by over 50% QoQ This destocking effort means Intel needed to rely on fab production capacity for its product shipments in 4Q19, during which its bit shipment fell by over 10% On the other hand, as Intel faced a severe supply shortage, its ASP saw a corresponding increase of over 10% QoQ Intel’s 4Q19 NAND flash revenue reached $1217 billion, a 57% decrease QoQ Intel’s Dalian fab is currently maintaining normal capacity, as the outbreak did not significantly impact fab production In terms of process nodes, Intel is continuing to develop 144L products, expected to enter mass production in 2H20

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