SAN FRANCISCO—Contract pricing for NAND flash memory surged by 20 to 25 percent in the first quarter, a strong testament to the undersupply condition that persists in the market, according to DRAMeXchange, a firm that tracks memory chip pricing.
NAND revenue typically falls off considerably between the seasonally strong fourth quarter and the the first quarter of the year, traditionally a slow season for end device shipments. However, in the first quarter of this year, global NAND revenue declined by just 0.4 percent, as the reduction of two-dimensional NAND capacity was severe enough to create tight demand, DRAMeXchange said.
Prices of mobile storage products such as embedded multi-chip package (eMCP), embedded multi-media card (eMMC) and universal flash storage (UFS) also continue climbing, DRAMeXchange said.
DRAMeXchange expects NAND shortage to persist for the entire year, resulted in expected sequential sales increases for NAND suppliers.
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The production capacity of two dimensional NAND has fallen as the industry has begun migrating to 3D NAND manufacturing, said Alan Chen, senior research manager at DRAMeXchange, in a press statement.
"As the market has yet to regain its balance following this disruption, contract prices of NAND flash chips will keep going up," Chen said.
South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. maintained its sizeable lead in the NAND flash market, holding 35.4 percent of the market in the first quarter, despite a 6 percent decline in NAND revenue, according to DRAMeXchange. Western Digital maintained its position as the No. 2 supplier of NAND with about 17.9 percent of the market, according to the firm.
—Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.