SAN FRANCISCO - At the 2011 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) here, Hynix, Samsung and Toshiba-SanDisk separately provided more details about their previously-announced, cutting-edge NAND parts.
And for some time, NAND flash vendors have seen stunning growth, due to strong demand in the mobile, tablet PC, solid-state storage (SSD) and other product markets.
But don’t look now, the NAND flash party may be nearly over. Hynix, Micron, Samsung and Toshiba have or will ramp up new NAND fabs-a move that could cause a capacity glut and falling prices.
''We’ve been calling for a collapse (in the NAND market) in the second half of this year,’’ said Jim Handy, an analyst with Objective-Analysis.
Demand is expected to remain strong in NAND. Average selling prices (ASPs) for NAND have been flat for over a year, but ASPs are expected to collapse in the fourth quarter of 2011, Handy said at ISSCC.
At present, NAND sells for $1.60 per gigabyte. By mid-2012, NAND is expected to fall and hit $0.65 per gigabyte, a 40 percent drop, he said.
The problem is that there is too much fab capacity coming online. Micron Technology Inc. is ramping up a new NAND fab in Singapore. Toshiba Corp. has announced a new fab, dubbed Fab 5. And Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is reportedly readying a new fab, dubbed Line 16.
At ISSCC, meanwhile, Toshiba and SanDisk presented a paper about a 151-mm(square), 64-Gbit device, based on multi-level-cell (MLC) and 24-nm technology.
Hynix Semiconductor Inc. talked about a 32-Gbit MLC line based on the technology. And market leader Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. talked about a 64-Gbit, three-bit-per-cell line based on 27-nm.