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keyword:Sean Yang55 result(s)

Press Releases
Strong Smartphone Demand and Power Outage at Samsung’s Xian Fab to Add Fuel to NAND Flash Market in Third Quarter, Says TrendForce

2016/06/20

Semiconductors

The latest NAND Flash price report from DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, finds prices of TLC wafers and spot prices of mainstream memory cards have been on a steady rise for three consecutive months since this April The uptrend will continue as the possibility of the market encountering tight supply in the third quarter becomes more apparent The margin of price increase has also been getting larger over the past month “NAND Flash suppliers are reducing their shares of shipments going to the channels in order to satisfy the demand from the eMMC/eMCP and SSD application markets,” noted Sean Yang, research director at DRAMeXchange “At the same time, they are also accelerating their migration to 3D-NAND technology Hence, the overall output for planar (2D) NAND products is declining, and this in turn further limits supply in the spot and retail markets” DRAMeXchange forecasts rising prices for TLC wafers and spot-traded memory cards in the third quarter Afterwards, the sales performances of the next-generation iPhone and other newly released branded smartphones will guide the NAND Flash market in the fourth quarter  Power outage at Samsung’s Xian fab will reinforce the expectation of tight supply in third quarter The latest news of disruption to plant operations at of Samsung’s fab in Xian, China also adds another new variable to the NAND Flash market On June 18, an explosion occurred at an electrical substation in the Chinese city, causing power outage at Samsung’s fab for a few seconds Some of the plant’s capacity was restored on the same day after emergency repair and damage assessment Samsung’s Xian fab, which is totally devoted to the advanced 3D-NAND memory for SSDs, has a production capacity of 100,000 wafers per month under normal operation Yang believes the partial but rapid recovery of the fab capacity will have limited impact on Samsung’s NAND Flash output in the long run Ramping up the production and enlarging the scale of capacity expansion can offset the losses for Samsung if the number of damaged wafers in process was under 10,000 pieces On the other hand, this unexpected event will also intensify the anticipation of a supply shortage in the third quarter Expanding content per box boosts the eMMC/eMCP market while SSDs enjoy strong demand According to Yang, annual bit demand growth rate for this year’s NAND Flash market is projected to reach 42% Smartphones, tablets and SSDs are the main demand drivers and they are expected to account for over 90% of the annual bit demand growth Branded smartphone vendors have already reached a plateau in terms of production volume, but the steady expansion of the content per box has been a blessing for the eMMC/eMPC market The next iPhone, for instance, is expected to have the maximum storage option of 256GB, and the initial wave of stocking up for this device by Apple will inject substantial demand into the third-quarter NAND Flash market Additionally, falling eMMC/eMCP prices are encouraging Chinese and international smartphone brands to upgrade the storage specs for their devices In the current high-end market, most models carry at least 32GB, while the share of devices with 16GB storage has been on a decline  Among applications, the SSD category is going to be the leading demand driver this year, accounting for as much as 34% of the overall end market demand Client grade SSD products will become more attractive at the end of the year, when the average price of 128GB SSDs will be under that of 500GB HDDs Based on DRAMeXchange’s forecast, the SSD adoption rate in the notebook market will likely exceed 40% in the fourth quarter in 2016

Press Releases
Global Branded NAND Flash Revenue Fell For Second Consecutive Quarter to US$8.06 Billion

2016/05/20

Semiconductors

In the first quarter of this year, the average contract price of NAND Flash chip fell by about 10% compared with the previous quarter due to persistant market oversupply During the same period, the prices of eMMCs and Client-SSDs also dropped 13~18% quarterly as a result of steep decline in shipments of smartphones, tablets and notebooks The latest NAND Flash market analysis from DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, reveals that the overall decrease in average selling prices (ASPs) is much greater than the total bit shipment growth for the first quarter Consequently, branded NAND Flash manufacturers suffered an average quarterly revenue drop 29%, marking two consecutive quarters of decline “The consumer electronics market will remain weak this year, so demand growth for NAND Flash will come from content per box increases,” said Sean Yang, research director at DRAMeXchange “While planar (2D) NAND migration is reaching the last generation, there are also delays in progress with manufacturers’ respective 3D-NAND schedules Thus, the overall cost reduction will be limited this year, and manufacturers will face slow revenue growth this year” Samsung Samsung benefitted from the strong sales of high-end Enterprise-SSDs in the first quarter and this helped offset the weak shipments of consumer storage products Bit shipment volume in the first quarter rose 9% compared with the prior quarter, while the ASP fell by just 6~8% quarterly Consequently, Samsung’s NAND Flash business saw its revenue grew slightly by 12% quarterly, along with an increase in the operating margin Samsung’s strategy this year will continue focusing on SSD products on account of rising penetration rate in the notebook market and strong demand from data centers DRAMeXchange expects Samsung’s bit shipment growth this year to be above the industry’s average as the manufacturer expands the share of its 3D-NAND in the product mix Toshiba Facing external pressures on its business operations, Toshiba concentrated on clearing its NAND Flash inventory before the end of its fourth fiscal quarter for 2015 (which is this January~March period) Consequently, bit shipment volume in the quarter grew 20~25% over the previous quarter However, lackluster smartphone shipments during the same period also caused the blended ASP to drop 13~15% quarterly Toshiba’s NAND Flash revenue in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2015 rose 12% compared with the prior fiscal quarter, and the manufacturer’s operating margin stayed roughly the same Over 70% of Toshiba’s total NAND Flash output in the first calendar quarter was produced on the 15nm technology Moreover, over 40% of the total output was TLC-based products In the second half of this year, Toshiba will be sending its 48-layer 3D-NAND Flash samples to clients for testing DRAMeXchange projects an annual increase of 20% in Toshiba’s capital expenditure this year as Toshiba shifts more resources to bolster its NAND Flash business Moreover, developing 3D-NAND will require more capital and equipment than engaging in planar NAND production SanDisk SanDisk embedded product revenue in the first quarter fell by more than 30% compared with the previous quarter on account of inventory adjustments made by major clients At the same time, however, shipments of Client-SSDs bounced back after hitting the bottom Shipments of Enterprise-SSDs also started to pick up due to demand from several key clients in the data center market On the whole, bit shipment volume in the first quarter fell by just 6% from the prior quarter, and average selling price and cost dropped by 8% and 6%, respectively The overall NAND Flash product revenue slid by 68% quarterly and gross margin stayed at 40% Going forward, SanDisk will accelerate the 15nm chip adoption and add more NVMe product lines in its Enterprise-SSD portfolio For client-SSD offerings, SanDisk will focus on 15nm TLC implementation to strengthen the cost competitiveness In the embedded product lines, SanDisk will continue to promote the TLC-eMMC solutions in flagship smartphone models On the production front, wafer output is expected to increase slightly by 5% before the end of June, and 3D-NAND Flash is expected to account for 15% of the manufacturer’s total capacity by the end of the year SK Hynix SK Hynix’s NAND Flash ASP dropped 12% quarterly due to strategic smartphone clients scaling back their purchases The memory maker also posted weak quarterly performances in other areas – bit shipments down 11% and revenue down 24% to US$640 million Looking ahead to the second quarter, bit shipment growth may exceed 30% due to short base period and demand generated from the new Chinese branded smartphones SK Hynix is pursuing 14nm technology for the production of planar NAND Flash as well as continuing to work on 3D-NAND technology The manufacturer has already started to adopt MLC 3D-NAND Flash for high-density UFS and eMMC products Samples of TLC 3D-NAND products are scheduled for delivery at the end of the third quarter SK Hynix currently manufactures its 3D-NAND products at its M12 fab, but its M14 fab will also take part in the production next year Micron Micron in its second fiscal quarter for 2016 (between last December and this February) saw its bit shipments for non-volatile memory grew by 11% over the previous fiscal quarter However, much of Micron’s revenue comes from component sales that are susceptible to market price fluctuations Hence, total revenue in non-volatile memory component business in the second fiscal quarter dropped 69% from a fiscal quarter ago to US$107 billion  Micron’s production plan involves accelerating the transition to 3D-NAND Flash Its new plant in Singapore, Fab10X, is now receiving new equipment and is scheduled for volume production during the second half of this year Micron has also sent out samples of 3D-NAND Client-SSDs to PC-OEMs The share 3D-NAND Flash in the manufacturer’s total output will reach 50% by the end of the year As for product mix, wafers and chips has increased slightly to just over 50% of the total sales Mobile NAND accounts for 10~15% and SSD represents 15% The remainder share of the total sales consists of automotive, telecommunications and industrial products Intel Intel’s NAND Flash revenue in the first quarter were hit hard by market oversupply and increasing competition in the Enterprise-SSD market The quarterly revenue decline was 16%, amounting to US$557 million Intel’s operating margin also turned negative during the period as the decline in the ASP was larger than the cost reduction Currently, Intel’s main products are based on 16nm MLC NAND Flash However, manufacturer has also shipped 3D-NAND Enterprise-SSDs to data center clients for sampling since the beginning of the second quarter These products are scheduled for mass production in this year’s latter half Intel’s has also started to move 3D-NAND equipment into its fab in Dalian, China The fab will commence trial production in the third quarter and mass production in the fourth As for Intel’s next-generation memory 3D XPoint, its development is ongoing and client sampling is set in the first half of 2017

Press Releases
Groundbreaking of the New XMC Memory Fab in China at the End of March Signals another Breakthrough in Chinese NAND Flash Industry, Says TrendForce

2016/03/21

Semiconductors

Major Chinese memory manufacturer XMC will begin the construction of a new wafer fab at the end of March This fab is expected to enter production by the start of 2018 and its main strategic product at the outset will be 3D-NAND Flash, the most advanced Flash memory product available on the market “Currently, XMC mainly produces NOR Flash at a capacity of 20,000 wafers per month,” noted Sean Yang, research director of DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce “The commencement of the new fab’s construction is an important milestone While XMC is showing its strong ambition to form its NAND Flash business, the Chinese memory industry is signaling that it is entering the next phase of development after two years of groundwork” Unlike other large international NAND Flash suppliers, XMC choose to partner with US-based IC house Spansion to build their 3D-NAND Flash technology independently After the 3D-NAND Flash chip co-developed by the two companies successfully completed its electrical test last year, more layers have been added to chip’s architecture XMC plans to launch its 3D-NAND Flash products at the turn of 2017 and 2018 as to ride on the high growth of the Flash storage market By rapidly developing and incorporating the new memory technology into its product lines, the Chinese memory maker aims to quickly catch up to the other major NAND Flash suppliers XMC’s future fab is expected to eventually reach a capacity of 200,000 wafers per month Increases in capacity, however, will be the result of the Chinese memory maker achieving technological maturity and stability in production Hence, the new fab is unlikely to attain the above capacity figure in the short term, and any significant rises in the fab’s capacity will probably take place 5~10 years later International NAND Flash suppliers are rapidly increasing their local manufacturing capacities in China Yang added: “The fast-tracked formation of a local NAND Flash chain in China is also attracting the attention of several international memory suppliers, compelling them to increase their strategic investments in the country Intel, for instance, is overhauling a fab in the city of Dalian to make memory chips When the retooled Dalian fab goes into operation in this fourth quarter, its capacity will help boost China’s representation in the global production of NAND Flash wafers to 8% China’s share in the global production will continue to grow and may exceed 10% before the third quarter of 2017 At present, Samsung is only supplier capable of mass producing 3D-NAND Flash and has a sizable share of the global PC-OEM market Furthermore, South Korean memory maker is on schedule for the commercial release of its third-generation 3D-NAND Flash Mass production is set in the second half of this year, when branded notebook vendors will be stocking up memory components for their new product models Competing suppliers have also accelerated their 3D-NAND Flash roadmaps, with products for the SSD markets expected to roll out in the second half of the year DRAMeXchange estimates that the advanced memory technology will account for 20% of the global NAND Flash memory production by the end of 2016, a massive increase from 6% a year earlier The growth of 3D-NAND Flash will also hasten the penetration of SSD products in other application markets

Press Releases
TrendForce Reports NAND Flash Revenue Fell 2.3% in 4Q15 as Oversupply Led to Falling Prices

2016/03/01

Semiconductors

Set against the prior quarter, the contract prices of NAND Flash memory chips fell by 9~10% in the fourth quarter of 2015 as the market experienced oversupply Prices of eMMC and SSD products also fell by 10~11% quarterly due to shipments of OEM devices - such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks - being weaker than expected in the same period With the price decline being greater than bit sales, the fourth-quarter revenue of the global NAND Flash industry suffered a 23% quarterly decrease “Besides facing rapidly falling prices, the manufacturers have also reached a bottleneck in their process technology migration,” said Sean Yang, research director at DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce Memory makers that are developing or producing 3D-NAND Flash are encountering yield rate issues, with Samsung being the sole exception As the cost reduction advantage associated with technology migration diminishes, branded NAND Flash suppliers posted significant quarterly declines in both their revenues and operating margins for the fourth quarter of last year Samsung Samsung was one of the few manufacturers that experienced revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 on account of its lead in 3D-NAND Flash development and the rising sales of its high-density eMMC, eMCP and SSD products In the fourth quarter, Samsung’s NAND Flash business registered a quarterly bit shipment growth of 15% and a 10~15% quarterly slide in the average selling price The memory maker thus saw a quarterly revenue growth of 42% as well as a slight decrease in its operating margin Samsung have already shipped samples of its third-generation 3D-NAND Flash to clients and will continue to focus on developing high-density eMCP The memory maker also plans to rely on 3D-NAND Flash to help consume more its overall capacity and will be applying this technology to enterprise and client grade SSDs of higher densities New smartphones and tablets that will be released in the first quarter of 2016 will also carry Samsung’s 14nm eMMC and eMCP products At the same time, Samsung will ship samples of its 14nm, TLC-based products to module makers to further improve its competitive advantage in the channel market Toshiba Toshiba’s NAND Flash business was affected by market oversupply as well Compared with the prior quarter, the memory maker’s average selling price was 13~14% lower in the fourth quarter of last year Toshiba only recently began the trial production of 3D-NAND Flash Moreover, the Japanese memory maker has found that its 15nm process offers limited cost reduction advantage Thus, the company’s NAND Flash business registered a decline in its operating margin for the fourth quarter Toshiba’s Fab 5 continues to be the center of the manufacturer’s 15nm production, which accounted for more than 60% of the manufacturer’s total NAND Flash output by the fourth quarter of 2015 The share of TLC-based memory products in Toshiba’s total output also exceeded 40% during the same quarter due to strong demand from smartphone clients In Toshiba’s Fab 2, equipment installation is completed and the trial production of 3D-NAND Flash has begun in the first quarter of 2016 In anticipation of future 3D-NAND Flash demand, Toshiba further plans to build a new plant next to Fab 2 Construction is expected to begin in the final quarter of 2016, and the expanded facility is scheduled to begin 3D-NAND Flash production in the first half of 2018 SanDisk SanDisk’s product mix adjustments have paid off as client and enterprise grade SSD sales make up an increasing share of the company’s total revenue SanDisk also saw a 10% quarterly drop in both the average selling price and the average unit cost of its NAND Flash chips in the fourth quarter of 2015 As a result, SanDisk’s gross margin reached 43% in the fourth quarter – on par with the previous quarter SanDisk’s extensive Enterprise-SSD product lines (including SAS, SATA, and PCIe) continue to receive favorable reviews SanDisk is now focusing on 15nm TLC-based products for the Client-SSD market and will be developing TLC-based eMMC and eMCP The memory maker in particular will target the eMMC market Since eMMC products are of high density and offer higher margins, SanDisk will be able to reduce the risk of getting into price wars In the fourth quarter of 2015, 75% of SanDisk’s NAND Flash output came from its 15nm process The memory maker is also expanding its range of TLC-based products, so the TLC representation in the total output also reached 70% in the same period Currently, SanDisk’s 3D-NAND development is in the trial production phase SK Hynix Compared with the third quarter of 2015, SK Hynix’s fourth-quarter NAND Flash revenue fell by 93% to US$841 million The South Korean memory supplier also saw a 4% bit shipment growth and a 15% slide in the average selling price As tablet and smartphone shipments from strategic clients are expected to suffer a huge drop in the first quarter of 2016, DRAMeXchange projects SK Hynix to post a 10% quarterly decline in bit shipments as well With clients switching to TLC-based mobile NAND products, SK Hynix has raised the TLC ratio in its total NAND Flash output to 40% The memory maker’s M14 fab, which is undergoing the second phase of its expansion, will be in operation in the second half of 2016 in order to meet this year’s 3D-NAND Flash demand The mass production of 14nm TLC-based products will also begin in the same period Micron Set against the previous fiscal period, Micron’s bit shipments for the first fiscal quarter of 2016 (from September to November last year) registered a 6% quarterly increase, while its average selling price dropped by 7% and unit cost fell by 6% Micron’s revenue for the first fiscal quarter of 2016 therefore arrived at US$115 billion, up 19% from the prior fiscal quarter Micron currently is accelerating its efforts to make the transition to 3D-NAND Flash and have sent samples to module makers Its newest fab in Singapore, 10X, is on schedule to begin mass producing 3D-NAND Flash in the second half of 2016 Micron’s product strategy for 3D-NAND Flash is focused on USBs and Client-SSDs The memory maker has also developed its own brand of 3D-NAND Flash SSD products, which will be delivered to PC-OEMs for sampling this third quarter As for product mix, wafer and chip sales accounted for nearly 50% of Micron’s total revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015, while mobile NAND represented 15~20% and SSD brought in around 15% The remainder came from automotive, telecommunications, and industrial memory products However, the ratio of TLC-based products was around 10%, lower than previously expected This was attributed to target customers showing stronger demand for MLC-based products used in Enterprise-SSDs Intel Intel’s major Enterprise-SSD customers pulled inventory in advance during the third quarter Consequently, Intel’s bit sales grew 10% quarterly in the fourth quarter of 2015 However, the oversupply in the fourth quarter resulted in a steeper decrease in the average selling price, causing Intel’s revenue fall slightly by 02% quarterly to US$662 million  The memory maker is currently carrying out the conversion of its Dalian fab in China from producing logic ICs to 3D-NAND Flash The Dalian fab will begin doing small-batch runs of 3D-NAND Flash in the final quarter of 2016 Intel is also continuing its work on 3D XPoint The testing of this next-generation memory technology will also begin in the fourth quarter of this year

Press Releases
Tsinghua Unigroup to Adjust Its Approach to Get NAND Flash Technology After Terminating the WD Deal, Says TrendForce

2016/02/24

Semiconductors

Unisplendour, the Hong Kong-based subsidiary of Chinese technology conglomerate Tsinghua Unigroup, announced on February 23 that its board decided to terminate their investment plan in US data storage company Western Digital (WD) This announcement came after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) sent a letter notifying Unisplendour that the agency will be reviewing the WD deal However, the plan between Tsinghua Unigroup and WD to form a joint venture to sell data center storage solutions will continue without interruption With Tsinghua Unigroup withdrawing its investment in WD, the terms under which WD can acquire SanDisk have changed as well, reports DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce Under the revised arrangement, each SanDisk share will now be worth US$6750 in cash plus a 02387 share of WD stock Based on WD’s closing price on February 22, the latest offer is estimated at $7850 a share Furthermore, the SanDisk acquisition will have to be voted on at a WD shareholder meeting to be held on March 15 The ambitious Tsinghua Unigroup has been busily investing in companies along the mid- and downstream of the NAND Flash industry chain China’s robust capital market and government’s plan to build a domestic semiconductor sector have provided the financial backing that support Tsinghua Unigroup’s M&A activities  “Tsinghua Unigroup attempted to indirectly obtain NAND Flash manufacturing capability by first becoming WD’s largest shareholder and then having WD to takeover SanDisk,” said Sean Yang, research director at DRAMeXchange “However, CIFUS was able to use Exon-Florio Amendment to the Defense Production Act to prevent this from happening Tsinghua Unigroup will now have to adjust its strategy, and the market will pay close attention to what the Chinese conglomerate will do next in its pursuit of NAND Flash technology” Yang added that the Chinese government regards NAND Flash as a critical part of its plan to localize semiconductor production At the same time, the domestic consumption of this memory is rising rapidly According to DRAMeXchange, China’s consumption of NAND Flash for 2015 arrived at US$65 billion, or about 28% of the global total The 2016 projection indicates that China’s share in the worldwide consumption will expand to about a third With such impressive growth comes huge opportunities, Chinese semiconductor companies will try to establish a complete NAND Flash chain through various business models or investment ventures

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