Citing an "overwhelming demand" for products using NAND flash, iSuppi Corp. said it expects the entire flash market to grow by 40 percent in 2003.
The market research firm said the NOR flash segment is still the largest slice of the flash business, but it predicts NAND flash revenue will hit the $11.5 billion mark in 2006 and pass NOR for the first time.
"Within the flash market," iSuppi said in a statement, "the fastest-growing part type is NAND, with sales set to rise to $3.8 billion in 2003, up 72.5 percent from $2.2 billion in 2002."
Driving the NAND sales, the firm noted, are products like USB drives, digital cameras, mobile handsets, memory cards, set top boxes, DVD players and electronic games. The entire flash market, encompassing both NAND and NOR technologies, is expected to pass the $11 billion mark in 2003.
The demand pressure enabled NAND suppliers to temporarily reverse the sharp drop in memory prices, enabling suppliers to raise prices by 9.2 percent in the third quarter.
"Rising NAND sales also... served to reshape the competitive landscape of the flash business," iSuppi said. "NAND flash supplier Samsung Electronics became the number-one flash supplier in the third quarter, with a total market share of 20 percent."
Joining Samsung at the top was another NAND supplier, Toshiba Corp., which ranked second with 17.3 percent share of the market. Intel and Spansion, both NOR suppliers, fell behind the two pacesetters for the first time.