DigiTimes reports NAND flash memory makers are preparing to transition to 16nm production in 2013. The move to 16nm is anticipated to be longer than the previous transition to 19/20nm processes, as mass production yields on 16nm will be more difficult to achieve. The site's sources said chip makers are expected to go through a period of time to improve yields to a satisfactory level.
The anticipated supply constraint for 16nm-made chips, however, will help the NAND flash industry return to a healthier supply-demand dynamic, the sources noted. Accordingly, chip prices will become more stable allowing downstream module companies to focus on developing new products and applications, the sources said.
NAND flash prices had been dragged down significantly in the first half of 2012, due to sluggish end-market demand, as well as poor quality chips pumped into the market, the sources pointed out. Prices stopped falling and became stable starting the second half, thanks to major suppliers' output cutback, the sources observed.
NAND flash memory supply is anticipated to grow 40 percent in 2013, a much lower figure than in previous years.