PHOENIX--Lead times for both NAND- and NOR-based flash memory continues to extend in the marketplace, due to exploding demand for cellular phones, digital cameras, camera phones and other products, according to an analyst with Semico Research Corp.
For some time, there has been a shortage and extended lead times for NAND-based flash memories in the market, said Jim Handy, who watches the sector for Semico, a research firm based in Phoenix.
Lead times for NAND-based devices range from 14 to 16 weeks, he said. "I've heard lead times of 18 weeks for some parts at the extreme," he said. "The NAND shortages are bad enough, where the third-tier players in Taiwan are getting the pinch."
More recently, the same exact scenario is taking place with NOR-based designs, which were in the tank until recently, Handy said. "We've heard lead times of 10 to 12 weeks for NOR devices," he said.
There is more good and bad news for suppliers of flash memories. Product prices are expected to remain flat until the next downturn, due in part to competitive pressures in the marketplace, he said.
On the other hand, Handy is sticking to his original and bullish forecast, which calls for the overall flash memory market to reach $11.3 billion in 2003, up 45 percent from 2002.
In 2004, the flash market is expected to hit $20 billion, up a whopping 77 percent in 2003. "Bit rates are growing 117 percent per year," he said. The growth is due to increased demand for cell phones, digital cameras, camera phones, and other products, he added.