Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Memory Shortages bode well for DRAM, NAND and NOR Vendors in 2017

Flash Memory Components 2016 Market Revenues Improved to $37B, 3D NAND awakes, XPoint Delayed
Monterey, CA - March 29, 2017 – Not since 2000, have the memory suppliers been in an undersupply situation since 2H 2016 is increasing memory prices for a number of reasons.  NAND vendors are producing 2D (planar) NAND at full capacity, while concurrently making the costly shift in production to 3D NAND. DRAM has been so hot that the Big Three (Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron) are shrinking their lithography below 1x and 1y, while maintaining their production at capacity. Other foundries, like the memory manufacturers, are also running at capacity, trying to maintain balance with IoT, M-2-M, mobile and computing demands. Even the NOR Flash market saw a reversal of 15+ years of market declines has been caught in the allocation/shortage scenario. Yet, with all this current production building additional capacity takes time and has been fraught with technology hurdles that slowdown bit increases.  

Although the NOR market is around 5% of NAND, NOR’s challenges represent a microcosm of the larger Flash and memory markets.  With the stronger demand for SoC (System on Chip) to satisfy the IoT and edge terminal requirements, foundries and ODMs are shifting their wafer mix away from standalone memories. These SoCs are also being built at lithography nodes below 40nm, where most embedded NOR Flash cannot be built. Consequently, these SoCs will need KGD and standalone serial NOR components at 512Kbit-256Mbit densities and larger to fulfill the IoT system memory requirements. In China, GigaDevice who supplies serial NOR is caught in a wafer allocation squeeze in not getting enough serial Flash wafers from their foundry who is making more SoCs (that need serial NOR). Winbond who makes both DRAM and NOR/NAND has been riding the higher price DRAM wave and has limited any additional wafer allocations to NOR. Micron has been rumored to have shut down NOR production at their Singapore fab in favor of NAND, which removes some NOR wafer capacity. Cypress the NOR market leader is gradually moving their emphasis from commodity standalone NOR to a IoT systems memory module especially for the automotive market.  Finally, Macronix has regained more NOR market presence in allocating more NOR wafer production is still facing long lead times since demand is ever increasing on the constrained industry supply. The net effect is NOR and other memory prices are increasing with supply constraints and vendors are on allocation for the foreseeable future.

In consolidating its annual results of each Flash memory vendor’s shipments, WebFeet Research found the 2016 Flash memory market to be $36.8 billion, an increase of 10% from 2015.  A substantial increase in 2016 revenues came from the NAND Flash market with a 10.7% growth rate, while the NOR market contracted flatly from 2015 by only -1.8 %. Samsung was the perennial 2016 revenue market leader for all NV Memories and NAND, Cypress (Spansion) established itself as the NOR Flash and the NVRAM market leader, while Macronix regained the serial NOR leadership position.

The 2016 Non  Volatile Memory Market Shares by Vendor report discusses the impact of the mergers and acquisitions on the memory market, qualifies the migration of planar to 3D NAND, quantifies how fast the emerging NVM are growing including STT-MRAM and XPoint as well as the reemergence of RRAM and NRAM, and presents two forecasts for serial EEPROM showing the impact (slow initial adoption) of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its aggressive scenario.  

This 2016 Non Volatile Memory Market Shares by Vendor report, CS700MS-2017, includes market shares by vendor for total Non Volatile Memory, NAND Flash, NOR Flash, serial NOR Flash, total EEPROM, serial EEPROM, parallel EEPROM, OTP ROM (EPROM and Mask ROM), and NVRAM (NVSRAM, RTC, MRAM, FeRAM, PCM, XPoint, RRAM, NRAM and Others).  Annual revenue forecasts are provided from 2015-2022 for the EEPROM, OTP ROM, and NVRAM markets. In addition, the NVSRAM market shares are broken out by vendor for Real Time Clocks (RTC) and NVSRAM from 2011-2016.  This report, CS700MS-2017, is available for $2.5K and for providers of the market share data they can obtain the report with a $500 discount.  WebFeet Research also has forecast the serial EEPROM (conservative and aggressive) and the NVSRAM (nvSRAM, RTC) from 2014-2022 by density for revenue, units, and ASPs, and for the serial EEPROM by interface type.  Each of these additional forecasts are priced at $500 and come in excel format. 

WebFeet Research, located in Monterey, California, provides business consulting and market research services in the memory and storage markets, with emphasis on flash memory components, EFDs, SSDs, Persistent Memory and In-Memory Computing/Cognitive Computing.

Contact:  WebFeet Research at 831-869-8274 or or