Industry sources told DigiTimes that flash memory makers will substantially ramp up production of 3D NAND flash memory in the second half of this year. The result will be that the marketshare of 3D NAND will exceed that of 2D NAND in the fourth quarter of this year. Most of the major NAND flash suppliers are still struggling with yields of 3D NAND but this is expected to improve within a couple of months.
If things pan out well, this will lead to more NAND flash memory hitting the market, which will hopefully result in lower prices later this year.
Major NAND flash suppliers including Samsung Electronics, Micron Technology and Toshiba have rolled out 64-layer 3D NAND flash products, said the sources. SK Hynix has even introduced what the company claims is the industry's first 72-layer 3D NAND flash chips.
Nevertheless, yield rates for these major suppliers' 3D NAND technology have been unstable since 2017, the sources pointed out. Meanwhile, as the chipmakers put increased focus on transitioning to 3D NAND, their output for 2D NAND has reduced substantially. As a result, the global supply of NAND flash memory has been tight since 2017, but the chip shortage is expected to ease in the second half of 2017, the sources said.