August 29, 2007 – NAND average selling prices (ASP) have recovered to flat to slightly up since a 33% plunge in 1Q07, and demand is picking up, notably for computing applications — but beware of a lot of capacity that’s about to come online, notes analyst firm Semiconductor Partners, in a new research report.
NAND unit shipments are forecast to increase 86% in 2007 vs. 2006, with an astonishing 217% increase in Gbit consumption, while sales rise 15% to >$13.5 billion, according to the firm.
Growth has been largely focused on flash cards in digital cameras, but will soon shift heavily to the computing segment — servers, workstations, and desktop/notebook/ultramobile PCs — which will grow “an astounding” 55.7% CAGR from 2006-2011 to ultimately account for nearly two-thirds of the total NAND market, according to Adrienne Downey, director of memory research.
Things like USB drives, hybrid hard-disk drives, and solid-state drives “will become mainstays for computing storage,” while flash memory is being used to support Microsoft’s Vista OS, she noted. Also, 8Gbit NAND will continue to be the most in-demand memory density for at least the next two years.
However, Downey noted that while NAND supplies tightened up in 2Q (leading to ASP) recovery, “a massive amount of NAND capacity will be coming on line over the next 18 months.”