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Memory chip prices have room to fall further, says Transcend chairman
Source: DIGITIMES   Editor: Helan   Update Time :2018/11/13 17:11:02

DRAM and NAND flash memory prices will continue their downward trend for at least another year, according to Peter Shu, chairman for memory module firm Transcend Information. The chip prices have started falling fast since the fourth quarter.

Both DRAM and NAND flash sectors have encountered oversupply, said Shu, adding that the memory prices still have room to fall further in the coming year or longer.

In the DRAM sector, the number of suppliers is relatively small compared to that in the NAND flash segment. Thus, DRAM prices will be sliding at more moderate levels compared to NAND flash price falls, Shu indicated.

NAND flash suppliers have improved substantially their 3D NAND process manufacturing yield rates, placing further downward pressure on the chip prices, Shu noted. Nevertheless, falling NAND flash prices help accelerate the adoption of flash-based SSDs among PCs.

Prices for 512GB SSDs have approached those of mainstream HDDs as a result of suppliers' mature 3D TLC NAND process production yields, and are expected to drop further in one year to between US$45 and US$50, Shu indicated. SSDs are well on their way to eventually replace HDDs as the mainstream storage mechanism for PCs, Shu believes.

In addition, Shu commented that China's startups are unlikely to build their presence in the global DRAM market over the next two to three years. However, in the NAND flash segment, new players based in China will be part of the industry landscape between 2019 and 2020, Shu said.

Commenting on the impact of the ongoing US-China trade disputes, Shu said Transcend has already shifted all its major production lines back to Taiwan. Over the past two years, the company has been optimizing its production in Taiwan and replacing its production equipment and facilities with new ones, Shu added.

Transcend continues to put focus on industrial and other niche-market applications rather than mass-market ones, according to Shu. Transcend expects its embedded devices to be a major growth driver of the company's performance during 2019, said Shu.

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