back to article Cheap NAND nasty: Flooding market with chips threatens prices

NAND oversupply is becoming a distinct possibility – with an increasing memory supply chasing a market that can’t absorb all the bits and bytes at prices that provide profits for suppliers. No NAND flash maker wants to create a glut, and each is convinced that they are behaving rationally – although, collectively, they are not …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I assume it would be too much to ask that they turn the excess into consumer SSDs at prices comparable with spinning rust drives.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course, no one is factoring in Trump's trade tantrums either. What may look like an glut in China may be something else entire depending on how the tariffs are assigned, e.g. China company vs. other companies, and how they are assessed on internal components, which is not a factor. For now.

    I used to be a rabid global free trader. That's gotten defenestrated. Not even close to Trump, but there is a point at which you do say about practices beyond the pale: "Enough is enough."

    1. Gerhard Mack

      I'm not American so the less you guys buy, the more of a market glut there is for the rest of us.

      1. DCFusor

        I AM an American, but the sentiment holds for me as well...Y'all save those bits for me!

  3. Ubermik

    SSD and NVME prices are fine, its the DRAM prices that need to fall off of a VERY high cliff

    1. K

      Agree on DRAM... but SSD/NVME should also drop. 5 years ago, I brought a 750GB SSD for £300, 2 months, I brought a 1TB for £220.. Whilst there has been a drop, they are still too expensive given the capacity they offer. They'll never be as cheap as spin-drives, but £100-120 for 1TB, is the price-point I would jump across.

  4. onefang

    “the ASP of NAND Flash will drop by around 10 per cent QoQ respectively in 3Q18 and 4Q18."

    I think my babel fish just died of fright. Can someone translate that into English for me please?

    1. abortnow

      goggle translate English->German->English gives

      "The ASP of NAND Flash will decline in the third quarter of 18 and in the fourth quarter of 18 by about 10 percent each"

      ASP - Average Selling Price?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You win two bits!



    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      ASP is an Egyptian snake or Average Selling Price. NAND is a first name in India or logic element that only outputs false when all the inputs are true: x nand y equals not (x and y). Flash can be made out of NAND or NOR gates. NOR flash has better endurance but NAND flash has a much lower price/bit. 10% drop QoQ means something will be 0.9 times what it was three months ago - misinterpreting that is a bit of a stretch. 3Q18: third quarter of 2018.

      So Mr Nand Flash from India has a pet Egyptain snake that will slowly climb down a tree in the second half of this year.

      1. onefang

        "So Mr Nand Flash from India has a pet Egyptain snake that will slowly climb down a tree in the second half of this year."

        Ah, that explains my babel fish dieing of fright, the snake scared her. All a bit of a QoQ-up really, I should have gotten a more robust fish.

        Though wouldn't a 10% QoQ drop mean that Mr Nand Flash's voice is now a bit deeper?

  5. Palladium

    NAND armchair analysis time

    -The upgrade cycle of phones are getting longer and longer = less demand.

    -For most people the added benefits of PC SSDs drops precipitously past the 250GB mark which is more than big enough for an OS boot drive, those 250GB SSDs also has been very affordable for years and paper spec performance no longer matters = less demand.

    -Chinese domestic NAND suppliers will finally be competing with the rest in 2019, and for that everyone is aggressively ramping up supply to grab as much as the market share pie possible. The Chinese NAND won't be nowhere as good as Samsung's best, but they will be priced very aggressively to move.

  6. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Ab Fab economics

    I notice that all these new FABs seem to be in and around Eastern Asia. As I understand it, these are plants that cost billions to build but need relatively few people working in them. I can understand businesses that rely on heavily manual processes siting their factories in areas with generally low costs and easily-available child- and slave-labour, but do wage costs make that much difference on something like a FAB? Presumably only a small proportion of the construction costs can be attributed to local wage rates?

    So how does the economics work? Why not build more plants in the EU and US to reduce risks of trade war problems? Or is it that the bulk of their output will actually be used in products made in Eastern Asia?

    1. Palladium

      Re: Ab Fab economics

      Because the East Asian governments have the patience and insight to build up their manufacturing bases while shrewd enough to shield them with quiet protectionism, than to engage in #1221312312424 political outrage of the week of schizophrenic Western democracies.

      1. hoola Silver badge

        Re: Ab Fab economics

        The labour to build it is cheaper, much cheaper, as will the raw materials and all the machinery. Then the running costs will be less due to the regulatory restrictions being reduced .

        All those laws to protect the environment are generally significantly more lax in those areas.

    2. Panicnow

      Re: Ab Fab economics

      Tax, Bungs and enforcement of environmental standards to name three

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ab Fab economics

        Government subsidies are main reason for building fabs in other countries. And those countries, like the US, want to buy local so they want a local fab... so they provide subsidies. New York did this for GF, Arizona did this for Intel and China did this for Samsung.

  7. NAND_guy

    What about demand?! It is about to burst out!

    You are only looking at supply. Demand is about to undergo a huge shift. AI in its many flavors, AR, VR, and, perhaps especially for NAND, autonomous vehicles ("servers on wheels") will be demanding huge amounts of NAND and DRAM. Timing of course is critical: will autonomous vehicles be ready for prime time by 2020 or 2021? Some certainly say yes, especially taxi and delivery type vehicles. If so, they will soak up a enormous supply and that supply needs to be there if autonomous vehicles are to be built in volume. So, it becomes a chicken-and-egg issue. The storage and memory vendors don't want to wait until everything else is finished. Everyone is moving ahead on all fronts. Worst case scenario is that the memory and storage vendors leave some clean room space vacant for a few months to a couple of years while other problems are resolved.

    The vendors have, for the most part, said that they will decide how to use the clean room space that they are building after it is built. Intel is the exception to this; Dalian will be used for their 3D NAND. WDC just said in their CC that they will talk to Toshiba about what to do with the fab they are building. And both Hynix and Samsung have said similar things in recent weeks about their new capacity. Micron is expanding clean room space, but they are not adding many new wafers. People who comment on expanded clean room space appear to ignore the fact that it takes more physical space and equipment to produce the same number of wafers of NAND and DRAM at current geometries. And the truth is: none of the established vendors wants to create a bust. They have been there, done that, it is counterproductive. They have become adept in recent years at bringing up their fabs slowly, so that they don't overwhelm the market. And of course they do want to increase the proportion of SSDs in PCs and laptops as well as servers over the next few years. The price is gradually becoming compelling. I know my own desktop 7200 HD is becoming increasingly annoying when compared to my speedy laptop SSD. For a hundred bucks and a few hours, I can remedy that.

    If there were still a dozen or more NAND and DRAM vendors, then perhaps you (Chris) would have a better point. But there aren't. And while there are some new entrants from China, IMHO people are making an error if they believe that those new fabs will be producing large amounts of either 3D NAND or DRAM soon. The vendors with decades of experience behind them are having production difficulties at the current tiny nanometer sizes.

    That's my two cents for now.

    1. Loud Speaker

      Re: What about demand?! It is about to burst out!

      Demand is about to undergo a huge shift. AI in its many flavors, AR, VR

      I have a slightly used flying pig if you ever feel the need for one.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sole aim of Greed is to Limit Its Own Fear - and vice versa.

    The Economies of Scale [TEoS], aka The Limitations Within Democracy, have only one aim and that is to “limit”/integrate/”balance” Greed/Futurism/”Masculinity” with Its Own Fear/Past/”Femininity” But NOT when Monopoly/Sell-Sell-Sell has Its Way. You know, when The Wh*** Sister of The Bookie, is slithering Her way towards Addicting The Vast Majority into Buy-Buy-Buy. Yes, Sweets, joining-in The Nay” Chorus might be “popular” [especially when “The Cameras” are Looking-On] but NOT when Addiction is when The Ability to See is not matched by The Ability to Deny. In other words, try as one might but The Addicted is unable to deny The Charms of Its Addiction.

    A “Glut” might be good for The Consumer by way of lowering prices, but NOT when ALL Higher-than-Thee prices ever do is to liberate Greed. When Fear is the means which TEoS is forced to limit Greed. More so when Da Governmented needs the “Income” to fund This, That, & The-Other and only A Fool will be honest about anything. The reason why, for example, the first duty of any “solicitor” is to plead “Not Guilty, M’Lud" – unless there is truly no way out of The Mess.

    Every established “Taxman” knows that should The Populace have-honesty-at-heart, you know, when share-&-share-alike is the reality, taxes could then belowered for the sake of honesty. But NOT when, “Eyes-Gottas-Lives-Gov”/Selfishness-is-Running-Amok. When Selfishness replaces Sincerity as The Rationale for Existing, the honest ones are [seemingly] “Real Patsies”. NOT when ALL “Born” has to, somehow but don’t know how, “Die” with The Regret being when there is, “Life After Death”. You know, when The Dancing begins “After Death”. If true, it is, perhaps, better to Dance Now instead of merely learning How To Dance for Later.

    A Number Oner, aka The Nazi, is the one who subscribes-to The New Sporting Event called “Prnongraphy” because it facilitates The Lacking of Chastity by favouring Filth. No wonder The Newly Westernised, aka The-Trinkleting-Lot, are so eagar to participate in “Established Events”. Mostly because that ought to exclude those who value Chastity beyond Filth, which The Blind-Blinded assume is, somehow but don’t know how, due to their Number Oneness. NOT when Absolute Knowledge exist as The-Present whereas mere Human/”Thoughtful” Knowledge is The-Layer called The Past-Future used for Deluding-Illuding The Brain. You know, when The-Past-Future/”Malevolence”/Relativity is used for replacing The-Present/”Benevolence”/Reality.

    1. onefang

      Re: The sole aim of Greed is to Limit Its Own Fear - and vice versa.

      amanfrommars, is that you?

    2. ntevanza

      Re: The sole aim of Greed is to Limit Its Own Fear - and vice versa.

      All your Babelfish are belong to ME

      1. onefang

        Re: The sole aim of Greed is to Limit Its Own Fear - and vice versa.

        Now I have two dead babelfish, you can have both.

        /me cooks a pizza for dinner instead.

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