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Original vendors plus investment in new Fab factory and 3D NAND production competition, the market in 2018 may be over-supply
Source: chinaflashmarket   Editor: Helan   Update Time :2018/3/12 15:01:23

In addition to increasing the 64-layer / 72-layer 3D NAND production in 2017, the Flash factory also increased its capital expenditures mainly for new factory and equipment optimization and the development of the next generation of 96-layer 3D NAND. Samsung, Toshiba / Western Digital, SK Hynix and other generous investment in building factories, although NAND Flash supply can improve the market conditions, it also make the industry concerned about the 2018 NAND Flash market oversupply. Because once Samsung Fab16, Toshiba Fab5 new factory put into operation in 2011, resulting in the first half of 2012 market oversupply, the price continued to show weakness in the next few years until 2016, Flash original vendors 2D NAND to 3D NAND conversion prices have improved. Now Flash vendor’s new factory will increase output in 2018, a new round of expansion may cause market oversupply again.

Samsung invested $ 14 billion in 2015 to build Fab18, a Pyeongtaek factory. In June 2017, it started production of 64-layer 3D NAND. In the early stage, wafer output was 50,000 to 100,000 pieces per month and its total capacity was expected to reach 100,000 pieces per month. Samsung plans to start the second phase of investment in Pyeongtaek plant, with a total capacity of 200,000 units / month on the second floor. It is estimated to allocate 70,000 units of 3D NAND and 130,000 units of DRAM a month. In addition, Samsung plans to invest a total of 30 trillion won by 2021 to raise Fab 18 production capacity and invest 6 trillion won at Hwaseong, Korea to optimize and upgrade production equipment, including EUV equipment.

In addition, the second phase of Samsung Fabrication Plant in Xi'an, China, is completed and plans to invest USD7 billion to increase its production capacity. However, due to the large capacity of Fab18, Toshiba and SK Hynix, which are also expanding production scale, the production time is to be determined. Samsung Fab16 factory has some production lines to transform the production of DRAM, Fab17 factory will focus on the production of DRAM to meet the demand.

Although Toshiba sold its subsidiary Toshiba Storage Co. (TMC) to Japan-US-South Korea alliance led by Bain Capital, its investment in manufacturing NAND Flash factories has not diminished. Fab 6, a 3D NAND plant built by Toshiba, originally invested JPY195 billion in fiscal year 2017 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2018) for the production equipment needed to import Fab6 Phase 1 and for Phase 2 engineering plant construction. However, demand for 3D NAND has expanded in data centers, servers and other fields. Therefore, TMC imposed an additional investment of 110 billion yen on the first phase of equipment import and accelerated the production of 96-layer 3D NAND in 2018, so TMC's total investment in Fab 6 has been extended to 305 billion yen. In addition, TMC also plans to invest 70 trillion yen to build Fab 7 plant in Iwate, Kita-ku, Japan, which will be completed by the end of 2018. The production schedule will be planned according to market demand.

SK Hynix NAND Flash factories are mainly M11, M12 and M14 factory, plans to build M15 factory in Cheongju, originally scheduled for completion by June 2019, but SK Hynix added 2017 capital expenditures to 9.6 trillion won for 3D NAND and DRAM memory expansion, so M15 factory will be completed by the end of 2018, and the completion of clean room equipment will be six months earlier than the scheduled time. According to SK Hynix M15 planning time, the plant will mass-produce 96 layers of 3D NAND. In addition, SK Hynix decided to invest 200 billion won to build a semiconductor R & D center next to the M14 plant and plans to build a new Fab factory in northern Cheongju in 2024 with a pending production project.

Micron and Intel 3D NAND and 3D Xpoint are mainly located in the United States, Singapore and Dalian. Compared with Samsung, Toshiba/Western Digital and SK Hynix, which have successively invested in new factories, Micron is relatively conservative, mainly using the existing factories Increase output.

It is worth noting that after the completion of the third-generation 3D NAND delivery by Intel and Micron in late 2018 or early 2019, the two companies will independently develop 3D NAND to better optimize technologies and products for their business needs, but will not affect 3D Xpoint technical cooperation.

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