Price increases for both DRAM and NAND flash memory are raising the outlook for the overall semiconductor market.
Huawei had had a difficult time when it installed different NAND flash chips into its strategic Smartphone called P10 during first half of 2017. Into a same product, it installed eMMC and UFS standard storage device. Unexpectedly level of dissatisfaction from consumers who purchased P10 equipped with eMMC increased heavily. Industries believe that Huawei made a bad move by failing to obtain NAND flash memories.
Everspin announced it is sampling a Gbit MRAM chip and will be in production this year with 1-2 Gbyte cards based on its 256 Mbit chip. The news at the Flash Memory Summit here marks a small but significant advance for a growing collection of persistent memories at an event focused on the still rising market for mainstream NAND.
It has been confirmed that SK Hynix started mass-producing 4th generation (72-layer) 3D NAND flash wafers and achieved ?˜golden yield', which had been SK Hynix's biggest obstacle. Its solution product that uses its own controller and firmware passed certifications.
Micron Technology is expected to report US$1.9 billion for the three months ended in May. That puts the company on track to post more than US$5 billion in operating earnings for its fiscal 2017.
Wall Street Journal
Western Digital has announced what the company claims is the world's first client solid state drives built with its 64-layer 3D NAND technology.
Tech giant Samsung Electronics said on Monday it is considering adding NAND memory chip production capacity at its manufacturing base in China amid an industry-wide boom that will likely fuel record sales for memory suppliers.
Toshiba shareholders agreed to split off its prized NAND flash memory unit on Thursday, paving the way for a sale to raise at least $9 billion to cover US nuclear unit charges that threaten the conglomerate's future.
Samsung Electronics said Tuesday its chip factory under construction in southern Seoul is expected to start production in the first half of 2017 as scheduled. The new line is expected to focus on the production of 3-D Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory.
As major player Toshiba's flash memory business is up for sale, global chipmakers are weighing their chances of competing against Samsung, which has a runaway lead in 3D NAND flash technology.
South Korea's SK Hynix has entered the running for a stake in Toshiba's memory chip business, seeing an opportunity to gain on rivals in the booming NAND market, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Last week, Toshiba confirmed that it's looking to spin off its core semiconductor business. Toshiba's chip division includes its lucrative NAND memory business, which generated 15% of the group's JPY5.7 trillion annual revenue (about $50 billion), and has an estimated value of about JPY1.5 trillion (about $13 billion).
Samsung Electronics plans to mass produce 64-layer NAND flash memory for the first time in the world early in 2017, while SK hynix plans to mass produce 72-layer NAND flash in the second half of 2017 jumping over 64-layer NAND flash.
SK Hynix, one of South Korea's leading manufacturers of memory semiconductors, plans to leapfrog rival Samsung Electronics to mass produce the most-advanced generation of NAND flash - chips that feature 72 layers of data-storing cells.
Nikkei Electronics Asia
Samsung was Apple's main supplier for the iPhones from the very beginning, making the A-series processors and supplying both NAND flash and DRAM memory chips.
According to the company, the output of 3D NAND at its fabs has surpassed the output of 2D NAND in terms of bits. Meanwhile, the costs of the first-generation 3D NAND are in line with expectations and the company is gearing up to start high-volume production of its second-gen 3D NAND in the coming weeks.
Tech giant Samsung Electronics is gearing up to fully operate a production line for 3D NAND flash memory at its plant in Hwaseong City, Gyeonggi Province. Considering the one-month period to build the equipment and tools, it is expected that the facility will likely be in full operation around the end of 2016.
The Korea Herald
We note that Intel has been building new capacity at Dalian - it could be cheaper for Intel to buy NAND capacity from Micron than to invest in expanding new capacity at Dalian.
Toshiba is planning to start the manufacturing of the world's first 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory chips in the third quarter of 2016 with Samsung Electronics being expected to release the same type of products in the following quarter.
Applied Materials has announced its next-generation e-beam inspection system is delivering the highest resolution and image quality at the fastest throughput to leading foundry, logic, DRAM and 3D NAND customers as they move to advanced nodes.
The announcement comes after Korean news media reported that Samsung is planning to invest around KRW25 trillion (US$21.2 billion)- some claimed KRW2.5 trillion - to beef up its production lines for 3D NAND flash memory in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.
Samsung Electronics is widening its lead with competitors in the solid-state drive (SSD) market, which is considered a growing field in the NAND memory semiconductor industry, dominating the market.
Micron announced that it is shipping 2 bit per cell flash memory (MLC) and three bit per cell (TLC) 3D flash memory and that the majority of its total NAND flash output will be on 3D NAND by the second half of 2016.
If Tsinghua Unigroup is unable to acquire the necessary IP to build 3D NAND, I believe the Chinese company will scrap its plan to build the new fab.
Altera has developed a storage reference design based on its Arria 10 SoCs, which doubles the life of NAND flash and can increase the number of program-erase cycles by up to 7X compared to current NAND flash implementations.
Samsung Electronics has inked an agreement to produce its 3D NAND solid state drives for Google, in a deal deemed to beef up the South Korean manufacturer's gameplay against its global competitors.
Spansion has launched a family of industrial-grade e.MMC NAND memory products for the consumer, communication and industrial equipment markets.
According to industry sources, Apple has decided to discontinue its use of triple-level cell (TLC) NAND, since the company believes that the functional defects plaguing the 64GB iPhone 6 and the 128GB iPhone 6+ stem from a problem in the controller IC of the TLC NAND flash. The controller IC in question is reportedly made by SSD maker Anobit, which was sold to Apple in 2011.
As numerous reports of low read performance of the Samsung SSD 840 and 840 EVO using TLC NAND flash have surfaced on the Internet, a problem in the controller IC is considered to be the more likely cause of the defects.
Toshiba has developed what it claims is the world's fastest device controller for embedded NAND flash memory modules compliant with the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Ver.2.0 and UFS Unified Memory Extension (UME) Ver.1.0 standards defined by JEDEC Solid State Technology Association (JEDEC).
With Toshiba's existing chip facilities now running at full capacity, the company may spend some of a 38% hike in its capex budget this year on extending a factory, the company's incoming president, Hisao Tanaka, said in a recent interview.
Toshiba said it will soon begin mass producing a new type of 64Gbit NAND flash that is the smallest and fastest in its class, though it still lags rival Samsung Electronics in the development of an even denser flash technology.
Increased spending in NAND and flash by Micron, LEDs by Philips and Osram, and continued investments by Globalfoundries will create new opportunities for equipment and materials suppliers in Southeast Asia.
Industry consolidation to just three big DRAM suppliers and a reduction in capital expenditures among these manufacturers helped propel DRAM average selling prices (ASPs) up 13% year over year in January. Capex budgets are also being trimmed for NAND flash (though not nearly as much as DRAM), and that, along with ongoing unit demand, has put upward pressure on ASPs for these memory devices as well.
The M500 SSD utilizes Micron's 20nm multilevel cell (MLC) NAND flash to achieve terabyte-class capacity and enable a new level of SSD price competitiveness; the 960GB Crucial M500 SSD will be initially priced under US$600.
Apple instead picked Japan's Toshiba, Elpida Memory and Korea's SK Hynix to supply DRAM and NAND chips.
Micron Technology CEO Mark Durcan said he expects the market for chips that store files in mobile devices to improve in the first half of 2013 as manufacturers rein in supply increases.