SAN FRANCISCO — Contract prices for NAND flash memory chips are expected to decline in during the first quarter of 2018 as a traditional lull in demand following the year-end quarter, coupled with bit growth of 5 percent, catches up with a market that has been red hot throughout 2017, according to DRAMeXchange, a research firm that tracks memory chip pricing.
DRAMeXchange (Taipei) expects NAND demand for notebooks, tablets and smartphones to drop by more than 15 percent from the fourth quarter of this year. The first quarter of the year generally shows declines in sales and demand compared with the fourth quarter, although NAND contract prices increased in the first quarter of 2017 as a lingering NAND shortage was stoked by the transition from 2D NAND to 3D NAND.
NAND flash supply/demand.
Bit output is expected to grow as suppliers continue to improve their production capacity and yield of 3D NAND flash, the firm predicted.
Oversupply of NAND in the first quarter of 2018 is expected to be a temporary situation. DRAMeXchange is forecast a tight supply and price increases again in the second half of the year.
— Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.