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Mixed market concerns posed the slight ups and downs for 2H Mar. NAND Flash contract price

26 March 2010 Semiconductors

Mar 26th,2010-----2HMar. NAND Flash contract price slightly fluctuated up or down within 5% due to the mixed favorable & unfavorable market factors. Most NAND Flash suppliers are benefited from the stable OEM orders from some electronic system customers, which will help to ease the impacts from the quarter-end inventory-cut & slow-season effects etc. However, as memory card makers have been gradually raising the procurement portion of TLC (triple level cell) white-box memory cards due to its low-cost advantage, these clients gradually lower the procurement volume for 2-bit/cell MLC products recently. Given the different customer & product mix that NAND Flash suppliers face, 2HMar. contract price also indicated the mildly various ups and downs pricing consequence. Says DRAMeXchange.

Recently DRAMeXchange found NAND Flash suppliers mainly promote & sell 2-bit/cell MLC and TLC to electronic system customers as well as memory card & UFD clients respectively based on the different performance/price ratio pricing and market segmentation. In order to maintain the TLC product quality stability, currently NAND Flash suppliers mainly offer TLC white-box memory cards to customers directly instead of TLC chips.

With the continuously performance and reliability improvement, most NAND Flash makers will plan to gradually raise the TLC supply depending on the TLC product adoption rate in end-product market. DRAMeXchange thus expect TLC memory card price to demonstrate gradually mild decline based on the anticipated supply enhancement from more vendors and cost-down effectiveness from process technology upgrade in the near future. However, 2-bit/cell MLC, featured with better performance and reliability, is still the mainstream NAND Flash chips for electronic system customers.

Most NAND Flash makers will benefit from the new product launch effects such as emerging smart-phones, tablet PCs and mobile devices etc. starting from 2Q10 as well as the iPad launch in April so that it will bring more additional demand to help buffer the impact of increasing supply in slow season. DRAMeXchange expect mainstream 2-bit/cell MLC price to stabilize after March as recently some positive market factors will help revive the conservative market sentiment.

Figure-1 16Gb MLC NAND Flash contract price trend

Figure-2 32Gb MLC NAND Flash contract price trend


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