Samsung Electronics announced that the semiconductor industry is at a major turning point in the use of memory for data storage. Referring to a modern-day "Flash Rush," Dr. Chang-Gyu Hwang president and CEO of Samsung Electronics' Semiconductor Business, said that tremendous advancements in NAND flash as well as a surge in the memory's supply and demand, is forever changing the way consumers and businesses use portable computer and electronics technology.
"The future of NAND is setting the stage for an irreversible shift in the design of digital end products as NAND becomes the key storage medium for data in virtually any portable form," Dr. Hwang said at a press conference today at the Shilla Hotel in downtown Seoul, Korea.
He compared the growing embrace of NAND technology for data storage applications to that of the Gold Rush of 1849, which permanently transformed the value and importance of gold around the word almost overnight.
"NAND flash will eventually replace other storage mediums, especially those used in mobile products, creating a "Flash Rush," as NAND continues to register an unprecedented surge in demand as the backbone of the mobile electronics era," Dr. Hwang added.
When Samsung introduced the "New Memory Growth Model" at an ISSCC conference in 2002, NAND was predicted to show double density growth annually. Indeed, the predictable rapid evolution of NAND flash density from 256 Megabits (Mb) in 1999 to 8Gb in 2004, is playing a major role in its becoming the new primary storage medium for portable digital products.
Dr. Hwang predicted that the phenomenal speed at which the industry is shifting to NAND flash will trigger a ripple effect across the electronic industry that will result in increased portability, a wealth of new design choices and much more convergence in digital applications.
Samsung's 16Gb NAND flash memory, revealed today in a separate announcement, will further spur the proliferation of NAND as the dominant storage medium in portable digital applications from DSCs, USB drives, MP3 players, DVCs, PMPs and mobile handsets to tablet PCs, sub-notebooks and even some notebooks where NAND is beginning to compete aggressively with mini HDDs. (hard disk drives).
In 2002, when Samsung foretold the dramatic shift in storage mediums, market forecasts for NAND predicted a mere US$1.7Billion in revenues this year, while global NAND flash memory revenues are actually expected to reach US$9.4billion this year, more than a five-fold increase. Over the past four years, NAND flash market has witnessed a compounded growth rate of 70 percent annually. This year, it appears clear that NAND will surpass NOR as the most popular flash memory.